From sculpture to vision to reality
The vision of Turning Torso is based on a sculpture called Twisting Torso. In 1999 HSB Malmö's former Managing Director Johnny Örbäck saw the sculpture in a brochure which presented Santiago Calatrava in connection with his contribution to the architectural competition for the Öresund Bridge.
It was on this occasion that Johnny Örbäck got the idea to build Turning Torso. Shortly thereafter he travelled to Zurich to meet with Santiago Calatrava and ask him to design a residential building based on the idea of a structure of twisting cubes.
Turning Torso is an amazing combination of sculpture and building. It is also one of the few landmarks in the world which becomes part of everyday life with its ten floors of offices, 147 apartments and meeting facilities on the two top floors.
The architect behind Turning Torso is Santiago Calatrava. The Spaniard is one of the most fascinating architects of our time and is responsible for a number of fascinating projects.
Calatrava is a trained sculptor, architect and engineer and is among other things responsible for projects such as the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub which is being built in connection with Ground Zero. He has also created several bridges, railway stations and air traffic control towers.
Santiago Calatrava creates his work with the eye of the sculptor and is inspired by both animals and humans and their natural movements. By combining the free forms of art with strict geometry and modern technologies, he crosses boundaries and constructs unique buildings. He is also responsible for some of the fascinating works of art located in Turning Torso.
The core is an enormous concrete pipe, with an inner diameter of 10.6 metres and walls which gradually go from 2.5 metres in thickness at the bottom to about 0.4 metres at the top of the building. Inside the core there are lift shafts and staircases.
The structural slab is fitted around the core. The forms for the structural slab are shaped like slices of a pie, and together they form an entire floor. The forms were rotated 1.6 degrees for each floor in order to create the characteristic twist of the building.
On the exterior of the building there is an outer steel support, which is linked together by the spine. The steel support transfers shearing forces to the supporting concrete core. The total weight of the steel support frame is approx. 820 tons.
The glass and aluminium facade is very complicated. Because the building twists, the facade is double curved. There are approx. 2,313 panels and 2,368 windows in the facade. The panels are curved and the glass panels are flat.
In order to follow the twist of the building, the windows are leaning either inwards or outwards, depending on which side of the building they are on. On the western side they are leaning inwards and on the eastern, outwards. This leaning of the windows is between 0 and 7 degrees, while the lateral leaning is about 6 degrees.
Turning Torso is not only a wonder of cutting-edge architecture; it is also a building which facilitates an environmentally adapted way of life. HSB Malmö required all involved entrepreneurs to work in an environmental friendly way.
Within the project Detoxifying the Construction Business, in which HSB Malmö takes part, a list of 10 hazardous materials to be phased out has been put together. The process of phasing out these materials is long-term, but in Turning Torso great progress has been made.
The building is supplied with 100% locally produced renewable energy. This energy should of course be used efficient. In Turning Torso we have invested in an energy efficient building envelope (windows and external walls) which lives up to Malmö's energy consumption objective. Many of the installations are energy efficient. By monitoring heat and water consumption in each apartment residents can plan their own energy costs and thereby their impact on the environment.
We also try to make it easier for the residents to be environmental friendly. There is a kitchen waste disposal unit in every apartment for grinding organic waste. Also, the many shared facilities may lessen the need for car travel.