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Tradition Facing Forward
With pinnacles ascending 452 meters above Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers have a slender elegance reminiscent1 of the graceful spires2 of Muslim temples. The Islamic influence extends right down to the towers? floor plans, which are based on an eight-pointed star.
However, the Petronas Twin Towers are not merely a tribute to Malaysia’s cultural and religious heritage. They are Malaysia’s challenge to the Asian financial hegemony3 of Hong Kong and Singapore. In building the towers, Malaysia was proclaiming that it, too, wanted to be a center of world trade.
Each tower is supported by a solid 23-x-23-meter core of high-strength concrete. In addition, the towers are joined by a walkway at the 41st stories. The increased stability enabled architects to boost the buildings? height-to-width ratio, giving the towers an air of elegance.
In erecting their towers to the heavens, the builders did not wish to compromise the security and comfort of those who worked there. The twin edifices4 were equipped with three major safety networks. Each tower has its own building control system, fire alarm system, and building security system. In case of a computer failure, these systems can be controlled separately by each tower, independent of the main network.
With a state-of-the-art computer system nestled within traditional architectural motifs, the Petronas Twin Towers are both Malaysia’s monument to its past and the hope of its financial future.
1. reminiscent a. 使想起的
2. spire n. 尖塔
3. hegemony n. 霸权
4. edifice n. 建筑物，（尤指）大厦