Turning Torso

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Turning Torso
The Turning Torso, Malmo.JPG
Turning Torso, the tallest building in Scandinavia
General information
Type Commercial office
Rental apartments
Architectural style Neo-Futurism
Location Lilla Varvsgatan 14, 211 15
Malmö, Sweden
Coordinates 55°36′48″N 12°58′35″E / 55.61333°N 12.97639°E / 55.61333; 12.97639Coordinates: 55°36′48″N 12°58′35″E / 55.61333°N 12.97639°E / 55.61333; 12.97639
Construction started 14 February 2001
Completed 27 August 2005
Opening 1 November 2005
Inaugurated 27 August 2005
Roof 190 m (623 ft)
Top floor 178.79 m (586.58 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 54
Floor area 27,500 m2 (296,008 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 5
Design and construction
Architect Santiago Calatrava
Main contractor NCC

Turning Torso is a neo futuristical residential skyscraper in Sweden and the tallest building in the Nordic countries.[citation needed] Located in Malmö on the Swedish side of the Öresund strait, it was built and is owned by HSB Sweden. It won the 2005 Gold Emporis Skyscraper Award.

The project was designed by Spanish Structural Engineer Santiago Calatrava and officially opened on 27 August 2005. The tower reaches a height of 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 stories and 147 apartments.[5]

In August 2015, it was announced that the building was the winner of the 10 Year Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.[6]


Turning Torso is based on a sculpture by Calatrava, called Twisting Torso, which is a white marble piece based on the form of a twisting human being.

In 1999, HSB Malmö's former managing director, Johnny Örbäck, saw the sculpture in a brochure presenting Calatrava in connection with his contribution to the architectural competition for the Öresund Bridge. It was on this occasion that Örbäck was inspired to build HSB Turning Torso. Shortly afterwards he travelled to Zurich to meet Calatrava, and ask him to design a residential building based on the idea of a structure of twisting cubes.[7]

Illustration of the general structure of the Turning Torso. (1) shows a typical floor plan, where the grey circle denotes the core and blue shapes denote the steel framework. (2) shows the way the nine segments fit around the core, and (3) is a dimetric projection of the tower.

This is a solid immobile building constructed in nine segments of five-story pentagons that twist relative to each other as it rises; the topmost segment is twisted 90 degrees clockwise with respect to the ground floor. Each floor consists of an irregular pentagonal shape rotating around the vertical core, which is supported by an exterior steel framework. The two bottom segments are intended as office space. Segments three to nine house 147 apartments.

An aesthetically similar copy but slightly taller skyscraper featuring a 90° twist is the Cayan Tower, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This building is known locally as a cheap knock-off of the original but with little consideration given by the designer to the internal layout of the living spaces.


Construction started in the summer of 2001. One reason for building Turning Torso was to re-establish a recognizable skyline for Malmö since the removal in 2002 of the Kockums Crane, which was located less than a kilometre from Turning Torso. The local politicians deemed it important for the inhabitants to have a new symbol for Malmö in lieu of the crane that had been used for shipbuilding and somewhat symbolised the city's blue collar roots.[7]

The construction of part of this building was featured on Discovery Channel Extreme Engineering TV programme which showed how a floor of the building was constructed.

Prior to the construction of Turning Torso, the 86‑metre (282 ft) Kronprinsen had been the city's tallest building.[8]

The apartments were initially supposed to be sold, but insufficient interest resulted in the apartments being let. The owner has several times unsuccessfully tried to sell the building. The construction costs were almost double the estimate.[citation needed]


On 18 August 2006, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner parachuted onto the Turning Torso, and then jumped off it.[9]

Floor 53 and 54 in the Turning Torso are conference floors booked and managed by Turning Torso Meetings. Since 2009 the owner HSB has decided to let the public visit floor 53/54 - only on special scheduled days and pre-booking is required.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Turning Torso at CTBUH Skyscraper Database
  2. ^ Turning Torso at Emporis
  3. ^ Turning Torso at SkyscraperPage
  4. ^ Turning Torso at Structurae
  5. ^ "HSB Turning Torso - Overview". Urbika. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "CTBUH Announces 10 Year Award Winner for 2015". CTBUH. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "HSB Website". HSB Website. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Mapes, Terri. "The Turning Torso in Malmo, Sweden". About.com. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Felix Baumgartner jumps from Turning Torso". YouTube. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 

External links[edit]