Tuesday April 4, 2006

Turning Torso

As the daughter of an architect, I've spent much of my life looking at, and appreciating, interesting buildings. Until recently, I would have said that most of the unique structures I've seen have been in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas skyline looks like an advertisement for a high-end architectural firm (or a Virtual Reality game).

However, a new tower in Malmö, Sweden must take the prize for "most unique and unusual building". Recently completed, the second-tallest residential building in Europe appears to be twisting... because it is.

Turning Torso Lr

The 45-storey skyscraper is composed of nine distorted cubes, each housing five floors of apartments or office space. The nine cubes twist 90 degrees around a central core. Support is provided by an external steel structure.

The structure, dubbed "Turning Torso", is based on a much smaller (5-ft-tall) marble sculpture of a human torso twisting and caught in mid-motion. Both the sculpture and the building are the work of award-winning architect, engineer, and sculptor, Santiago Calatrava.

There was a wish to create something fantastic.... I wanted to deliver a technically unique building, which is a challenge in itself.

[ Santiago Calatrava, speaking at the unveiling ceremony, as quoted in "A New Twist", article in Playboy magazine, April 2006 ]

Calatrava has also designed a corkscrew-shaped residential tower to be erected in Chicago — when completed, the new tower will be the tallest building in the US (yipes!), an honor currently held by the Sears Tower (also in Chicago). I've been up in the Sears Tower. I think I'll view these new buildings from a respectful distance.

More photos and information on Turning Torso can be found at:

Turning Torso ( in category Noteworthy ) - posted at Tue, 04 Apr, 14:37 Pacific | «e»