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Menara Multi Purpose Building

Built: 1994
Designed by: John Portman & Associates, and Jurubena Bertiga International
Type: Skyscraper
Stories: 40
Maximum Height: 650 feet / 198 meters
Location: 8 Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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L ook up. That seems to be a recurring theme in buildings designed by John Portman and Associates. This building is an example of that philosophy. It is because the horizontal striped facade that you see extends outward from an inner shaft. The lower reaches of the building are actually tucked beneath the main part of the building that your eye sees. Portman has designed several buildings along these lines, some more pronounced than others. In this case, it's much like the Citibank building in New York. Everyone remembers the slanted top, not the knobby-kneed bottom. The Menara Multi-Purpose building's top is worth studying. At first it appears to be another building that uses setbacks to create additional corner offices and the visual illusion of height. But amid the tapering is another group of setbacks going the opposite direction -- an inverted triangle inset in the lower half of the building points to the ground. It helps define a building that is both reaching for the sky, and grounded in the earth. Another harmonious union of disparate notions in the Kuala Lumpur skyline.

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