Turning Torso & Västra hamnen, Malmö
I took a very long walk around Malmo and, despite my original intentions, ended up in the area where the 'Turning Torso' exists.
At 623 feet the tower is, at present, the highest in Scandanavia. It was designed by a Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, and is basically nine pentagonal 'blocks' set at angles to each other. There are apartments (not cheap, I imagine!) and conference rooms inside.
I don't much like modern architecture and, initially, I certainly didn't like the way this white tower looms in the distance and can be seen from Kungsparken and the Malmohus (castle). Malmo is pretty flat, so that doesn't help. But, to be fair, once one gets into the Vastra Hamnen district where it is situated...all pretty new and very modern, all very clean......it seems much more in keeping. When walking in that area, it works ok.
It is only possible to visit the building on set days at set times s the chances are that you, like me, will have to admire it (or not) from the street.
This building, which was finally opened in 2005, has split the Malmö population in half. Those who hate it think that it is a complete waste of money that could have been spent on AFFORDABLE housing for Malmö citizens, and those who love it think that finally, little Malmö has a building which even impress the Stockholmers. Because it does, there's no getting around it when even Stockholm's mayor says she's jealous of it. Spanish architect Calatrava got to see his masterpiece built in Sweden's third city by housing company HSB which nearly went bancrupt in the process and sacked their local chairman, but hey, afterwards, the Torso was finished, the world was impressed and the whole thing opened with a huge party in the city library (which upset the negative people even more since that meant it was closed to the public) with Calatrava as guest of honour. Malmö has a building which can be seen from Copenhagen across the strait. You however can NOT see it other than from the outside most days, but that too is quite impressive as it twists its way up the sky. If you are in luck, you might happen to visit, or plan your visit, just as HSB has one of there guided tours inside. This costs around SEK 200, and you need to check times and book with HSB (see website). Tours tend to be cancelled at short notice if there are not enough participants. Another way to see it is to work for a company booking the restaurant and conference centre open to group bookings only.
You don't have to be a millionaire to live here, and the few colleagues I have had who has lived here have actually been quite disappointed with the apartments since they are quite hard to furnish and have very little storage space. The building has a lot of service otherwise though, such as a concierge, wine cellar and other non-typical things in the Swedish housing market...Click on the other pictures to see it being built. The Swedish part of the below website has a virtual tour of it.
You find Turning Torso in Västra Hamnen (the Western Harbour) in Malmö.
The landmark of the Western Harbour is just Santiago Calatrava’s skyscraper called “TURNING TORSO”, rising 190 meter and it´s said to be the highest building in Sweden and the highest residential building in Europe thanks its has 54 floors .
The architect Santiago Calatrava has designed the house and the human body has been the model and the inspiration. The result is a house with a turn of 90 degrees.
In the building, the spiralling tower is composed of nine box units, each of five floors. There is also one floor between all the cubes - these floors is used for different purposes. 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.
INFORMATION from the official web site:
Name: Turning Torso
Height: 190 m
Nmber of floors: 54
Elevators: 3 (+2)
Number of stairs: 1
Number of cubes: 9
Number of floors in every cube: 5
Area of every floor: 400 m2
Turning: 90 grader
Model: human body in motion
Other facts about Turning Torso here:
What a design magazine says about Turning Torso :
VÄSTRA HAMNEN is a neighbourhood of Malmö, located on the shoreline of the Öresund Sound and sits on what was once an industrial area, now replaced by a new city district with exciting architecture, lovely beach promenades, green spaces and stunning views of the 8 km-long Öresund Bridge that arches towards Denmark.
The neighbourhood is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Water is of course a vital element of the environment, expressed in canals, ponds and watercourse, as well as green spaces.
An award-winning ecological housing area finished in 2001 for the major European housing expo Bo01 is found here. In fact, the buildings were designed by several internationally renowned architects including Santiago Calatrava.
The landmark of the area is his skyscraper called “TURNING TORSO”, rising 200 metres above this new, green, waterside cityscape of apartment and office buildings, beaches and beachfront.
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.
Facts about Turning Torso here:
What a design magazine says about Turning Torso :
Probably the stand out feature of modern Malmo is the Turning Torso. It's the tallest skyscraper in Scandinavia and a beautiful piece of architecture by Spanish designer Santiago Calatrava. It only opened in 2005, and reaches nearly 200 meters with over 50 floors. It's designed to look as though the building is turning around on itself, and it creates quite an interesting sight when you are below looking up.
The only disappointment, and it's a big one: You can't visit the top. It's made up of private residences, and they don't welcome uninvited guests.
With its 190.4 meters the Turning Torso is the second highest residential building in Europe after the 264-meter skyscraper Triumph Palace in Moscow.
The design is based on nine cubes with five floors in each cube. Between the floors allowing for it will be a total of 54 floors. Each floor is about 400 square meters. The total office space comprises approximately 4200 sq ft and is located in the bottom two cubes. Cube three to nine cube comprise a total of 147 apartments. The two top floors (53 and 54) is a conference facility Turning Torso Meetings. Each floor basically consists of a square part around the core and a triangular portion, which is partially supported by an exterior stålbärverk. The entire structure rotates a quarter turn on their way up.
From 2009 the public is allowed to visit the building and see the view. This is allowed only for a few weeks in the summer and a limited number of visitors, required an advance booking for the price of 195 SEK. The building is built for housing and we have assessed the visits as disruptive to the residents if done more often than that.
A real masterpiece and a symbol of Malmö, as well as a must visit. Torso looks like those towers, which kids construct with Lego. It is not a pretentious American skyscraper but rather something really innovative and good looking.
Tower Torso is Sweden and the Nordic region's tallest skyscraper at Lilla Varvsgatan i Västra Hamnen. The building is designed and constructed by architect Santiago Calatrava and owned by HSB.
The new landmark of Malmo, the Turning Torso with its 190.4 meters is the tallest skyscraper in Sweden. This is really an interesting building to see, the concrete and steel tower consists of a core and an outside bearing structure made of steel. The building twists 90 degrees around its own axis and comprises nine cubes, each of which have five floors.
We were told, that the skyscraper is symbolizing a man twisting his torso to behold the world. It lies rather far from the downtown, in an industrial area under redevelopment.
You may look at the outside only, because visitors are not allowed in the residential building.
However, next door is a small building where for 35 Kronen you can see an awful boring film in swedish (?) language about the superstar spanish architect and his building.
Of course you can buy a lot of trinkets as souvenir.
This is Malmös pride. Construction/digging started officially February 14, 2001 and the tower was ready in autumn 2005.
Architect was Santiago Calatravas, also an artist, sculptor and engineer. He got inspired by one of his own sculptures "the twisting tower". Calatravas is based in Zurich, Paris, Valencia and New York. He finds inspiration in the natural movements of animals and humans. Amongst Calatrava's acclaimed works are bridges, railway stations, communications towers and traffic control towers.
Turning Torso got 54 floors, is 190 metres tall and the entire construction twists 90 degrees on its way up. It got 147 flats, a gym, sauna, 8 offices, a function suite, guest rooms and a gallery inside. Residents also have access to their own lockable space in the building's temperature controlled wine cellar. Turning Torso has a reception manned 24 hours a day by a concierge who can provide a range of services that makes life easier for residents.
As you are looking at the Turning Torso, you might as well have a look at the entire Western Harbour. What used to be an industrial harbour area and home of the Kockums wharf with its huge crane, has been redeveloped since Malmö hosted Bo01, one of the many Swedish fairs for modern architecture, in 2001. Now the place reminds you of a sort of Docklands development with housing in all kinds of shapes. As a focus is Scaniaplatsen, a wide place facing the sea, where people gather on sunny summer days to stroll around the seafront (see local tip). If you are interested in architecture, this is a must. Click on the second picture and you will see some of my own favourites, the house boats. The third one shows the whole area from Ribersborg beach. You can see many more houses in my Västra Hamnen travelogue.
A "kogg" is a medieval German trading ship and they were common in Malmö during the Hanseatic days. These two are replicas of one found by the enthusiastic people of Foteviken viking village (see that tip) in the waters outside Skanör some years ago. The Foteviken people were so inspired by the find that they wanted to build a replica and after years of financial difficulties, the two ships are now ready and yet another attraction in Malmö. Malmö city ownes it all but it is managed by Foteviken people which means that just like there, this aims to be more an "experience centre" than a museum. You could come here and experience medieval life and there is even a "Free town" called Malmöya set up to re-enact medieval days and so far they have held a medieval market too. The picture is from when one of the ships were built.
The image of HSB Turning Torso is dominating the city skyline. It's the first thing you see, so there's no wonder it's gotten to be the region's new landmark - a new way to work, live & meet! This fascinating work of architecture based on a sculpture was built of nine cubes twisting towards the waterfront & the surrounding area to the height of 54 floors! Working areas are located in the lowest two cubes, the apartments between the 3rd & the 9th cube & meetings held on the 53rd & 54th floor. As I heard, the first tenants moved in at the beginning of Nov, but there was still some minor finishing work when I was there. And I gotta tell you - it looks amazing!
The man behind HSB Turning Torso is Santiago Calatrava, who has already done a number of amazing projects like the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, the Lyon Airport in Satolas, the Volantin bridge in Bilbao, the Kuwait pavillion & Alamillo bridge in Sevilla! At the moment he's working on the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which is being built in connection with 'Ground Zero' on Lower Manhattan, New York. Combining sculpture & architecture & inspired by animal & human forms, he has become one of the most famous architects of modern time!
The skyscraper is situated in Västra Hamnen [Western Harbor in English], right next to MS Dockan. The whole Harbor was being turned into an industrial area to accommodate 30 000 people, workers & students. Compared to other skyscrapers in the World [TaiPei, Taiwan with 509 m & the Empire State Building, New York with 381 m], HSB Turning Torso with its 190 m situated in Malmö riviera offers extraordinary views over Öresund. Considering the fact that the elevators travel at 5 m/s / 18 km/h & that it takes 38 seconds to move from the first to the 54th floor, I'd say I was a minute away from heaven...
This residential building was completed recently (they had an ceremony for it on August 27th 2005 I think - inauguration is planned for March 2006). When I went to see it they were still cleaning up the construction site. Not sure if you can go inside since it's only offices, private residences + some conference rooms on the very top floors but I imagine that the interior is a lot less exciting than the exterior although the view must be magnificent from up there if the weather is good.
A couple of kilometres northwest of Malmö city centre on the coast is the 'experimental ecological city' called BO1. It took me about 20 minutes to walk there (I have long legs!!).
Another reason for going to BO1 is that the famous Spanish engineer/architect Santiago Calatrava's is building his enormous "Twisting Torso" tower next door.
I believe the 'Bo' part of the name comes from the Swedish 'to live'. The settlement was set up only a couple of years ago and comprises of a wide variety of interesting houses, flats, offices and cafe's. Novel surface drainage is used throughout. It is fairly car-free. There is also a lake, large reed beds and several planted eco-roofs.
Personally I found it extremely relaxing to be able to sit in one of the cafe's on the sea front with a view of Denmark and the Øresund Bridge on the horizon.
Malmö's harbor is one of the most picturesque in Scandinavia.
From the harbour several channels strech into the city. You can do a boat tour to see the city from another angle.