COVID-19 has only been able to postpone the inevitable – now you won’t be seeing the second tallest tower in the world next year but only in 2022. Yes, phase 1 and 2 of Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) iconic Merdeka 118 precinct are expected to be ready by the second quarter (Q2) of 2022 instead of end 2021 as initially targeted. The delay is caused by the Movement Control Order in Malaysia in light of COVID-19. As per the requirements of the MCO, Merdeka 118 construction site was shut down during the first three phases of the cordon sanitaire and gradually reopened from May 13, 2020 onwards. The project is funded by PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd (PNBMV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of PNB.
The project is currently at Phase 1 of the development that involves the Merdeka 118 tower and the surrounding infrastructure. The concrete core structure has reached its peak at Level 118 and the tower facade has reached Level 82. As per the schedule, the Level 118 floor slab will be completed at the conclusion of 2020. The developer is planning for the ‘topping out’ ceremony to commemorate the Merdeka 118 tower reaching its peak level of 118 storeys high.
Merdeka 118 which is set to become an extraordinary union between the historic and contemporary architecture of Kuala Lumpur, will not only feature a tower that overlooks Malaysia’s two national landmarks – Stadium Negara and Stadium Merdeka, where Malaysia’s independence was declared in 1957, but also other components. Overall, this would include Park Hyatt Kuala Lumpur; an observation deck; a retail mall; Merdeka Boulevard @ 118 – a four-acre Linear Park and open public spaces; Look @ 118 – a cafe with ‘Instagrammable’ view; Merdeka Residences and a childcare centre for children under seven years old; and a mosque within the precinct that could accommodate up to 3,000 people.
Upon completion, Merdeka 118 would also be the first building in Malaysia to satisfy the triple green building platinum accreditations locally and internationally, namely the Green Building Index (GBI), the Green Real Estate (GreenRE), and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).