Turning Torso
Malm÷, Sweden
1999 - 2004

Photos courtesy Santiago Calatrava archives

Designed for a prominent urban site on the occasion of the European Housing. Expo 2001, Calatrava╣s residential tower for Malm÷, at the city╣s west harbor, is based in form on his sculpture Turning Torso.  Conceived to enhance and enlarge a public area defined by the intersection of two main roads, the Turning Torso building is meant to be seen as a free-standing sculptural element posed within the cityscape.

In the original sculpture of Turning Torso, seven cubes are set around a steel support to produce a spiral structure, which resembles a twisting human spine.  In the Turning Torso building, the spiralling tower is composed of nine box units, each of five floors.  The equivalent in the tower of the sculpture╣s steel support is the nucleus of internal elevators and stairs, through which the box units communicate.

Each box unit is a │sub-building▓ of about 2200 square meters (23,650 squarefeet). Each floor of the box unit can accommodate one to five dwelling units will be used as observation decks for the tenants.  Space in the spine unit may be used either for a distinguished residence or as a common areafor tenants, providing facilities for meetings, parties, saunas, gyms or technical spaces.  The two sub-basement floors will be used for technical spaces, laundry and storage areas.

A corridor located at first-floor level will connect the tower to a secondary building. This adjacent building will have shops at ground level, together with parking and tenant storage rooms. The three upper floors will be allocated for parking.  A hanging fašade will create a covered arcade in  front of the shops, providing a comfortable and pleasant zone for pedestrians.

The entire building will be handicapped accessible and features a highly advanced environmental design. Moreover, the engineering will allow for an extraordinarily efficient method of construction.  After the sub-basement is erected as a conventional concrete work, the vertical circulation nucleus and slabs will be put up using a sliding framework system.  The exterior steel structure will then be attached, using elements that were prefabricated in the shop.  Finally, cranes placed on site will pull up the in-shop, prefabricated facade.  Construction time will be substantially reduced with this method.

Client: HSB, Malm÷