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HSB Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden

January 23rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

HSB Turning Torso is a skyscraper in Malmö, Sweden on the Swedish side of the Oresund strait. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and officially opened on 27 August 2005. The tower reaches a height of 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 stories. Upon completion, it was the tallest building in Scandinavia, and Europe's second highest apartment building, after the 264-metre-high Triumph-Palace in Moscow.

The 84 meter high Kronprinsen was the tallest building in Malmö before Turning Torso.

The design is based on a sculpture by Santiago Calatrava called Twisting Torso. It uses nine five-story cubes that twist as it rises; the top-most segment is twisted ninety degrees clockwise with respect to the ground floor. Each floor basically consists of a rectangular section surrounding the central core, along with a triangular section, which is partially supported by an exterior steel scaffold. The two bottom cubes are intended as office space. Cubes three through nine house 149 luxury apartments.

The Twisting Torso sculpture is a white marble piece based on the form of a twisting human being. Johnny Örbäck, former CEO of the Turning Torso contractor and Board Chairman of the Malmö branch of the co-operative housing association HSB, saw the sculpture in 1999 and contacted Calatrava to ask him to design a building using the same concept. Construction started in the summer of 2001.

One reason for the building of Turning Torso was to reestablish a recognizable skyline for Malmö since the removal of Kockumskranen ("The Kockum Crane") in 2002, which was located less than a kilometer from Turning Torso. The local politicians deemed it important for the inhabitants to have a symbol for Malmö — Kockumskranen, which was a large crane that had been used for ship building somewhat symbolized the city's blue collar roots. Turning Torso can be seen as a monument of a new, more internationalised Malmö.

Turning Torso won the 2005 Emporis Skyscraper Award by the largest margin in the award's history, winning out over Q1 Tower in Gold Coast City, Australia and Montevideo in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The structure won the 2005 MIPIM award in Cannes, France for Best International Residential Building, winning out over 1 West India Quay in London, UK, and Espirito Santo Plaza in Miami, USA.

The construction of Turning Torso was featured in an episode of the Discovery Channel's series Extreme Engineering.


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

[Source: Wikipedia]

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