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Archive for December 12th, 2008


Turning Torso

Turning Torso is a high-rise building in Malmö, consisting of nine cubes twisting towards the waterfront. Turning Torso houses top-quality apartments, offices and conference rooms and, at the time of completion (27 August 2005), is the second tallest residential tower in Europe after the 264m-high Triumph-Palace in Moscow andthe tallest building in Scandinavia.


Turning Torso Sweden


Turning Torso Residential Tower



The Torso has been selected by the City of Malmö Government as a landmark for the new development, though it also meets the requirement for dense habitation. Local authorities organised an exhibition to choose a high-rise building for this purpose and invited the local housing cooperative, HSB, to participate.

Only well-known architects were supposed to participate in the exhibition,” explains HSB project director Ingvar Nohlin, “and that’s why Santiago Calatrava was approached. He had participated in the Oresund Link competition but was not selected.

In fact, this 190m (623ft) tower is based on a sculpture by the Zurich-based architect. Sharing the name of its much larger brother, Turning Torso depicts a human body contorting around its spine in an upward movement. Calatrava included a photograph of the work as part of his Oresund submission, where it was spotted by HSB’s former managing director, Johnny Orback, who convinced Calatrava to design a building based on this concept.


Sweden has perhaps the most far-reaching environmental legislation in Europe, along with a comprehensive welfare system, so it is no surprise that central services are a high priority. Indeed, Western Harbour is being promoted as a global leader in urban sustainability. For heating, Torso connects to power utility Sydkraft’s system, which uses 100% locally renewable energy. This is obtained from a variety of sources, including solar power, wind, bedrock and water.

Torso plays its part, with organic waste from the building ground down in kitchen waste disposal units, then transported though separate pipes for decomposition and biogas production at Malmö’s waste incinerator and heat plant. In addition, Torso residents will be given training in such systems via a local TV system.

As for safety, all security systems have independent reserve power supplies, including lifts, sprinklers and emergency lighting. There is also a double water supply system, again with its own power supply.