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12 Fascinating Facts About The Turning Torso

One of the most remarkable skyscrapers in the world can be found in Malmö, Sweden.

In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting facts about the Turning Torso!

1. It’s located on the Swedish side of a famous strait

The Turning Torso is located on the Swedish side of the Öresund strait, in English commonly known as “The Sound.” This strait forms the natural border between Sweden and Denmark.

One of the most famous bridges in Europe is called the Öresund Bridge which connects the Danish capital of Copenhagen with the Swedish city of Malmö. It was the longest road and rail bridge in Europe between 2000 and 2019.

The Turning Torso is located near the strait and a couple of kilometers to the north of where this bridge arrives in the city.

facts about the Turning Torso
The tower and bridge / Ralf Roletschek /

2. The Turning Torso holds two fantastic records

The Turning Torso is both a commercial and residential skyscraper. It contains a total of 147 apartments and 54 floors, with the top floor located at a height of 178.79 meters (586.58 feet).

The roof of the skyscraper is located at a height of 190 meters (623 feet) which makes it the tallest building in all of Scandinavia!

One of the most fascinating facts about the Turning Torso is that it’s also the first skyscraper in the world with a twisting design upon its completion in 2005!

Turning Torso Height
View of the tower / Егор Журавлёв /

3. Multiple skyscrapers have followed the Turning Torso’s example

The mind-blowing design of the skyscraper didn’t go unnoticed and multiple other famous skyscrapers drew inspiration from this revolutionary building.

Art-Facts Youtube Channel

Some of these recent twisting skyscrapers include the Shanghai Tower in China, the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg in Russia, and the Evolution Tower in Moscow in Russia.

Shanghai tower twisting design
The twisting Shanghai Tower / Wiki Commons

4. It was designed by a renowned Spanish architect and artist

The tower was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. One of the most prominent features of his work is the fact that most of his designs resemble living organisms.

While his most prominent works include bridges that are supported by a single Pylon, his most notable works include buildings such as the Olympic Sports Complex of Athens, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, and the WTC Hub in New York City.

Architect of the Turning Torso Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava / Wilson Center /

5. The design was based on one of the architect’s sculptures

The building was commissioned by a Swedish cooperative association called HSB which specializes in housing in Sweden. One of the most remarkable facts about the Turning Torso is how its design actually came about.

When the Öresund Bridge was being planned in the late 1990s, Santiago Calatrava submitted a plan for the competition that was being held to determine the bridge’s design. Johnny Örbäck, the HSB director at the time, saw one of Calatrava’s sculptures in a brochure related to his submission in the competition.

This sculpture was called “Twisting Torso,” a white marble sculpture resembling a twisting human body. Örbäck was so intrigued that he scheduled a meeting with Calatrava to discuss a building with a similar design and the rest is history!

Aerial view of the Turning Torso
Aerial view of the skyscraper / Wiki Commons

6. The top floor twists at a 90-degree angle

If you look closely at the building, you’ll notice that it consists of 9 blocks in the form of pentagons, each containing 5 stories, and which were stacked on top of each other. This made it easier to create the twisting design which made the skyscraper unique at the time.

One of the most amazing facts about the Turning Torso is that the top floor is rotated clockwise at a 90-degree angle compared to the ground floor!

Turning Toros Twisting design

7. It was built to establish a new skyline for the city

For numerous decades, the skyline of the city of Malmö was dominated by a massive crane referred to as the “Kockums Crane.” It wasn’t just a crane, it was the symbol of the city and referred to its blue-collar roots.

This crane, which stands 138 meters (453 feet) tall was scheduled to be removed in 2002 and is now located at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. It stood just 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) away from the skyscraper’s current location.

Because of this, Malmö needed a new symbol. This in combination with the spontaneous idea by HSB’s manager resulted in the skyscraper serving this purpose.

View of the area around the Turning Torso
View of the area of the skyscraper / Wiki Commons

8. It’s way higher than the second-tallest building in Malmö

Before the construction of the magnificent new skyscraper, a building part of the “Kronprinsen” residential area was the tallest building in Malmö. This building only stands 86 meters (282 feet) tall.

A new skyscraper is built in Malmö as well, referred to as “The Point” or “Point Hyllie” and will stand 110 meters (360 feet) tall, which is still 80 meters (262 feet) shorter than the Turning Torso!

The Point in Malmö
The Point in Malmö / PEAB /

9. It took 4 and a half years to complete its construction

Building this wonderful skyscraper was a massive endeavor, simply because of the fact that a twisting skyscraper was never built before at the time.

The first stone of the building was laid on February 14, 2001, and it wouldn’t be until August 27, 2005, that the building was finally completed, which is well over 4 and a half years after the construction started.

The building was inaugurated on the day that the construction was completed, and officially opened on November 1, 2005.

Turning Torso construction
The skyscraper under construction / Wiki Commons

10. The building didn’t turn out to be a huge success for the owner

While the idea was certainly marvelous, this didn’t result in the tower becoming a huge moneymaker for HSB. In fact, the construction cost was nearly twice the amount that was envisioned during the planning phase.

This in combination with the fact that the apartments didn’t sell as easy as expected as well resulted in the owner trying to sell the building multiple times, constantly being unsuccessful.

On the bright side, the skyscraper won the 10 Year Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in August 2015. After all, the design is quite amazing, don’t you think?

turning torso at night
The tower at night / Bjaglin /

11. A famous daredevil once parachuted from the building

Do you remember Felix Baumgartner?

Yes, the guy who jumped from a helium balloon in the stratosphere to earth in 2012!

Well, he also jumped from the Turning Torso on August 18, 2006, less than a year after the building was completed!

Turning Torso facts

12. The top floors have an observation deck that can be visited by the public

Because of the fact that the building didn’t turn into a financial success, the owner came up with a way to make some extra money. Just 4 years after the tower opened, the observation deck on the top floors of the building was opened to the public as well!

People who pre-book are able to go to the top of the tower and catch the most amazing views you can possibly get in Malmö!

Turning torso malmo skyline