Modern Arch’

Bold architecture made its mark in Malmo

While in Malmo, we had short visit to a remarkable building known as the Turning Torso. Known as the worlds first twisting skyscraper, the tower completes a 90 degree twist from bottom to top. Completed in 2005 the tower is still the tallest in Scandinavia at 190 meters (~623 feet) and the tenants are mostly residential but also some offices. The Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, was mimicking his own sculpture that resembled the twisting shape of a human.

The original sculpture is made of white marble but Santiago probably thinks it simple work compared to the 190 meter building.

The building has won many awards including the “10 Year Award” from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat(CTBUH). The award showcased the value add to the surrounding community around the building and I can attest that the neighborhood(a former industrial yard) is thriving and clean. The Turning Torso demonstrates a grand artwork that inspired and built social capital(read as pride) in its community.

Even the windows are custom to showcase the twist.

The day we visited the building a maintenance crew was onsite. Donning climbing harnesses and dangling from ropes, we saw that the irregular building shape provides unique challenge for the property management. Normally to clean windows and maintain the face of a building a crew anchors on the roof and lowers a “cradle” platform vertically in a straight line toward the ground. The Turning Torso does not have ANY straight lines but it does have structural components along the overhanging building face that assists climbing. Using these structural components, the maintenance crew must climb the face of the building much like rock climbing a mountain. This definitely translates to more expensive maintenance but honestly the climbing crew looked like they were having fun.

The climbing crew were clearly fans of Spiderman.