Dominating the island’s skyline is KOMTAR (Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak) the famous landmark of Penang and touted to be the icon of its urban renewal programme. With the cost of RM207 million, the 65-storey building was the tallest in Asia at that time.
The buildings consist of a 12-sided geometric block, 760ft (232m) tall and sitting atop a 4-
storey podium. The complex comprises office and retail commercial space as well as public
and recreational facilities.
KOMTAR occupies an 11-hectare site and is the single most ambitious project undertaken by Penang Development Corporation, the development arm of the Penang state government. The project master plan is divided into five phases for implementation which includes the construction of KOMTAR, Geodesic Dome, 17-storey international hotel, 4-storey shopping podium, public buses interchange, 11-storey car park and the latest addition Prangin Mall in 1997 linked by two enclosed steel-glass pedestrian bridges.
The complex is named in honor of the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, the late Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein. The first piling of the building’s phase one was done by Tun Razak himself on 1 January 1974. Part of the complex’s first phase podium block was completed in 1978.
The construction of the building itself was completed in 1988 and it was on that day onwards reigned supreme as the shopping paradise of Penang. The 4-storey shopping complexes nestled at the foot of the Komtar Tower, plays an importantpart of the overall integrated redevelopment of George Town together with its hotels and the office tower block, where the State Government is located, and an international exhibition centre. On the 58th floor is the viewing gallery where you can see the whole area around Georgetown.