Komtar Tower, or Menara Komtar Complex is Penang's tallest building and the sixth tallest building in Malaysia located in the heart of George Town, dominating the island's skyline. KOMTAR is a portmanteau of Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak. When the skyscraper topped out it was the second tallest building in Asia after Sunshine 60 in Tokyo. Komtar was still Malaysia's tallest building for 3 years before it was surpassed by Menara Maybank in Kuala Lumpur in 1988.
Komtar is a multipurpose complex consisting of retail outlets, transportation hub and administrative offices for the Penang State Government. An acronym for Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, KOMTAR was named after Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister of Malaysia, who officiated in the piling of Phase 1 on 1 January 1974. It bears the same name as Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak in Johor Bahru, built about the same time but on a smaller scale. The Johor Bahru KOMTAR only has 25 storeys.
The 65-storey tower is a 232 m (761 ft) 12-sided geometric block atop a 4-storey podium. The complex comprises office and retail commercial space as well as public and recreational facilities. It was designed by Architects Team 3 (AT3) of Singapore. and designed and constructed with local expertise, also a geodesic dome of Buckminster Fuller's design. The architect involved in the design of the building was Lim Chong Keat, the younger brother of Dr Lim Chong Eu.
KOMTAR Tower commenced construction on year 1974 and at the time of its construction, Komtar is regarded as one of the cutting-edge buildings in Penang. KOMTAR was the vision of the then Chief Minister of Penang Dr Lim Chong Eu to revitalize the urban centre of George Town and usher the state forward.
KOMTAR occupies an 11-hectare site and is the single most ambitious urban renewal project undertaken by Penang Development Corporation, the development arm of the Penang state government. The master plan is divided into five phases for implementation.