Project: TURNING TORSO
Architect: Santiago Calatrava
HSB Turning Torso is a tall, white structure which seems to stand alone in the western harbor of Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city. During the 1980’s the harbour was in an economic slump after shipyards and factories closed and is now redeveloping as a new dynamic area to live and work. HSB Turning Torso, designed by renowned architect, Santiago Calatrava, is a multi –functional, luxurious residential and commercial building which makes a bold and innovative statement for this new transformation into the 21st century.
HSB Turning Torso is the vision of the Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava. Art, music, sculpture, and a fascination with the natural movements of the human form, inspire in Calatrava a combination of these influences which give his work a light and organic feel. HSB Turning Torso is a beautiful, elegant structure which defines sculptural expression as it gently turns 90 degrees to resemble the position of the spinal column of someone hitting a backhand in a tennis match.
Turning Torso was first conceived by the managing director of the Swedish housing co-operative HSB, Johnny Örbäch, after he saw a photo of a sculpture created by Calatrava. He convinced the architect to design a new building in Malmö based on the piece. The vision became areality and the resulting structure stands 190 metres (623 feet) high with a circular central core wrapped it by nine individual cubes, each slightly askewed and balanced on the one below it, resulting in a slow twist upward. Each cube contains five floors; the two lowest cubes comprise office space, and the seven other cubes have been designed with 152 apartments with ultimate luxury and convenience in mind. Not only do residents enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding Öresund area, but a 24-hour concierge, a gym, complete with a Jacuzzi, two observation floors, and a temperature controlled wine cellar are part of the rent!
HSB Turning Torso is a spectacular building. It goes without saying that the interior is just as intriguing. Samark Arkitektur & Design AB of Sweden developed 33 superb unique floor plans with varying sizes between 45m2 and 190m2. Managing director Stefan Bergkvist said the firm developed each apartment based on its own unique position in the building and oriented them all to benefit from the dramatic panoramic views!
Each apartment was designed with a relaxed open plan with large windows and high ceilings to accentuate the height and openness of the space. Not the typical contemporary square box-- gently curving walls, slightly oblique window frames, and circular ceiling soffits maintain the organic quality reflecting the spinal twist of the exterior’s shape. “It was really a great challenge to design the apartments,” says Bergkvist. “It’s not just a building, it’s a sculpture. We followed the curve of the structure and each floor plan is unique. No two are exactly the same, and that makes them rather special.”
We are shown a generously sized apartment, 101 square meters—close to 1,100 square foot—which serves as a second home for the couple who resides in it when visiting Sweden. This 52nd floor apartment, which has stunning views of the Öresund Bridge and Copenhagen, is equipped with furnishings and fixtures that incorporate the couple’s lifestyles abroad and in Sweden. It is a complimentary mix of ideas from Italy, Sweden, and Denmark which brings different parts of the room together in both colour and form.
The Samark design firm used a high standard of materials and finishes in all the apartments, giving attention to even the smallest of details. They wanted to uphold a luxurious but affordable atmosphere, says Bergkvist. The first impression upon entering this apartment is the quality of natural light coming from the generous windows all along the outside walls. Floor- to-ceiling translucent screens, by Swiss company Creation Baumann, are designed to slide on ceiling tracks in front of each set of windows if one needs to subdue bright sunlight at different times of the day. Beautiful polished ledges made of Swedish limestone grace the sill of each window, providing the perfect spot for a special object d’art or a tasteful set of potted plantings.
The living room is purposely large. Bergkvist said the plan was to make the space in every apartment as open and airy as possible and to take advantage of the panoramic views outside. The ceilings have been raised in beautiful curvaceous shapes contrasting the dramatic angles in the room. Doors and wardrobes extend from floor to ceiling, keeping the visual height. It is obvious that the view outside is the desired focal point and each unit has its own degree of a breathtaking view accommodated by the generous banks of tall, wide windows
In the open floor living area, the couple chose furnishings and art that would compliment a simple, uncomplicated but sophisticated style. The white sofa and accompanying settee is from Fendi Casa of Italy: It’s very sophisticated, accentuating the fabulous painting by Swedish artist Tamara Malmeström. The understated yet splendid coffee-table is designed by the Swedish designer and architect Eero Koivisto. Mirrors on the top and bottom of this beautiful minimalistic piece give the optical illusion of a magical deep, dark Swedish lake against the rich black carpet it sits on
The kitchen and bathrooms are exclusively custom designed by Samark for HSB Turning Torso. Bergkvist insists on only the best state-of-the-art appliances: refrigerator/freezer, oven, microwave oven and dishwasher from Gaggenau and Bosch. The mixer taps are designed by the eminent French designer Philippe Starck. Ample kitchen cabinets are an oiled oak with the grain running horizontally to parallel the long horizontal aluminum fixtures. Underneath the cabinets are strategically placed recessed down lighting, which fully illuminates the generous amount of work space made of beautiful granite. Clean and efficient, and designed on the basic work triangle to allow for ease of cooking and clean up, the kitchen exemplifies modern living.
The bathroom is a delightful surprise and a true showcase of simple luxury. The “wow” effect of the room is a large, deep, round window reminiscent of a porthole on a ship. A true contrast to the linear quality of ceramic tiles on the walls and floor of the room, the window brings natural light into a room that is usually neglected in most apartment buildings. Two wall- hung circular wash basins beautifully mimic the circle that is the window, and are crowned with stately mixing taps by Starke. A recessed mirror reflects the window, thus increasing the visual space and quality of light. A built in bathtub and shower unit with glass walls is equipped with heated towel rails, another simple but not overlooked detail of ultimate comfort.
From the gorgeous Italian bed in the master bedroom, one can view the smattering of twinkling lights of Copenhagen across the bay. On a clear night when all of the stars in the universe have turned on their own natural display of bursting lights, the view will take your breath away. The residents have successfully linked together their life abroad with their life in Sweden in perfect harmony. They are very pleased with their home away from home and will spend more and more time in the apartment above the clouds in Malmö.
In 2005, HSB Turning Torso won the most sought after award for Best Residential Development at the MIPIM international real-estate forum in Cannes. In 2005 Santiago Calatrava was awarded the prestigious AIA Gold Medal by The American Institute of Architects. HSB Turning Torso may be the most remarkable residential and commercial property in the region. This notable building is within walking distance of Malmö’s city center, cultural diversities, restaurants, shops, and area beaches. Residents enjoy a high standard of living in a comfortable environment that can accommodate a variety of lifestyles. The Turning Torso is a new, modern building, but it will most likely emerge and take its place as one of the noted landmark buildings worldwide.
Photography: James Silverman
Written by: Dori Kelly
Writing contribution for apartment and styling:Katinka Kant
Captions + Info about images
Abundant natural light flows into the space through generous large windows and gives a feeling of spaciousness which enhances the open floor plan of the interior. Translucent shades which slide on ceiling tracks are incorporated into the design as an option to leave open or to subdue hot or strong sunlight.
Steel and concrete make a graceful twist toward the sky as HSB Turning Torso dominates the skyline of the Öresund region that encompasses Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. In July 2000, the two nations were finally connected by another engineering feat, the 16 km Öresund Bridge, which substantially contributes to the increased economic growth of the region.
Three lovely shaped vases designed by Ditte Fischer, a Danish ceramic design studio, sit securely on the sleek limestone ledge. The fabric on the window shade is from Creation Bauman of Switzerland. The shades slide across the window to subdue hot or bright sun at different times of the year.
The customized kitchen, designed exclusively for the HSB Turning Torso by Swedish architecture firm, Samark Arkitektur & Design AB, is fitted with high quality materials such as granite work spaces, ceramic tile and light oak wood, as well as high end appliances such as Gaggenau and Bosch.
A peaceful cozy reading nook was designed by Monica Sandström of Side Strategic Interior Design of Malmö, Sweden. The Stingray Chair, designed by Thomas Pedersen, sits on a circular light grey Blekinge rug. The futuristic rocking chair is a dynamic, simple, yet comfortable piece of furniture. A simple reading lamp, produced by Zlamp Lamp Design Company in Sweden, stands elegantly at the ready to provide lighting to read by.
Large recessed, floor- to- ceiling wardrobes in the bedroom allow ample storage which keeps the room clutter -free. On the window, a darkening shade has been fitted to pull down for a good night’s sleep, even when the Nordic summer sun shines all night.
The bathroom was custom designed by Samark Arkitektur & Design AB with simple, but lavish finishes. The main feature, the port hole shaped window, is a significant design element used to define the character of the space. Two wall -hung wash basins carry the circular design into the space. The large recessed mirror reflects the window which enhances the size of the room as well as the quality of light.
An impressive, strategically placed window becomes a main design feature in the unique plans and design decisions of Samark Arkitektur & Design AB. The window resembles a ship’s porthole, providing a dynamic circular shape in contrast to the squares of the ceramic tile in the bathroom.
The diningroom furniture is supplied by Scandinaviandesign.com and the Fendi Casa by the von Zapf furniture store in Hjärup. The serene colors in furniture and objects make this apartment a delightful place to rest your eyes.
The coffee-table “Vertigo” is designed by the Swedish designer and architect Eero Koivisto. Mirrors on the top and bottom of this beautiful minimalistic piece give the optical illusion of a magical deep, dark Swedish lake against the rich black carpet it sits on.
The lamp on the left side of the sofa,“Bourgie”, is designed by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell
The floor lamp on the left side is from Fendi Casa.
The black chair “Oto” is designed by Peter Karps
The large vase on the floor between the windows is designed by Russian artist and designer Olga Popyrina.
While reclining in the master bedroom, you can view the long, expansive bridge to Denmark and the smattering of twinkling lights in the capital city, Copenhagen, on the other side. On a clear night when all of the stars in the universe have turned on their own natural display of bursting lights, the view is breathtaking.
The painting behind the sofa is by Swedish artist Tamara Malmeström
The dining area is in direct contact with the open kitchen. The table seats eight, with a panoramic view for all.
The dining table “Pärson” is designed by Ruud Ekstrand
The chairs “NXT are by Peter Karps
The lamps, “Liv” (meaning life) dressed in ballerina tutus above the table are designed by Jonas Bohlin
The elegant candlesticks, “Gemini”, on the dining-room table are by Danish designer Peter Karpf.
The exquisite vases of paper thin transparent glass on the windowsills, on the coffee table bearing tulips, and the black glass vase are all called “Slowfox” by Swedish designer Ingegerd Råman for Orrefors
The lounge chair in black and white hide is called “Pony” and is designed by Le Corbusier
The round lamp on the floor is a “Glo Ball B2” by Jasper Morrison
BIOGRAPHY Santiago Calatrava
Architect, artist, and engineer Santiago Calatrava was born on July 28, 1951, in Valencia, Spain. His background is eclectic. Calatrava is an aristocratic name, passed down from a medieval order of knights. The family on both sides was engaged in the agricultural export business, which gave them an international outlook that was rare during the Franco dictatorship.
Calatrava attended primary and secondary school in Valencia. From the age of eight, he also attended the Arts and Crafts School, where he began his formal instruction in drawing and painting. When he was thirteen, his family took advantage of the recent opening of the borders and sent him to Paris as an exchange student. He later traveled and studied in Switzerland as well. Upon completing high school in Valencia, he went to Paris with the intention of enrolling in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; but since he arrived in June 1968, he found his plan was unworkable. He returned to Valencia and enrolled in the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura, a relatively new institution, where he earned a degree in architecture and took a post-graduate course in urbanism. While at the school, he also undertook independent projects with a group of fellow students, bringing out two books on the vernacular architecture of Valencia and Ibiza.
Attracted by the mathematical rigor of certain great works of historic architecture, and feeling that his training in Valencia had given him no clear direction, Calatrava decided to pursue post-graduate studies in civil engineering and enrolled in 1975 at the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich. He received his Ph.D. in 1979. It was during this period that he met and married his wife, who was a law student in Zurich.
After completing his studies, Calatrava took a position as an assistant at the ETH and began to accept small engineering commissions, such as designing the roof for a library or the balcony of a private residence. He also began to enter competitions, believing this was his most likely way to secure commissions. His first winning competition proposal, in 1983, was for the design and construction of Stadelhofen Railway Station in Zurich, the city in which he established his office.
In 1984, Calatrava designed and built the Bach de Roda Bridge, commissioned for the Olympic Games in Barcelona. This was the beginning of the bridge projects that established his international reputation. Among the other notable bridges that followed were the Alamillo Bridge and viaduct, commissioned for the World’s Fair in Seville (1987-92); Campo Volantin Footbridge in Bilbao (1990-97); and Alameda Bridge and underground station in Valencia (1991-95).
Calatrava established his firm’s second office, in Paris, in 1989, when he was working on the Lyon Airport Station (1989-94). He opened his third office, in Valencia, in 1991 to facilitate work on a competition, a very large cultural complex and urban intervention, the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia (ongoing). Other large-scale public projects from the late 1980’s through the mid-1990’s include the BCE Place mall in Toronto (1987-92); the Oriente railway station in Lisbon (1993-98, commissioned for Expo ’98); and the winning proposal in the design competition to complete the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City (1991), a project that has not been realized.
Exhibitions of Calatrava’s work were first mounted in 1985, with a showing of nine sculptures in an art gallery in Zurich. A new stage in recognition was marked by two solo exhibitions: a retrospective at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, in 1992, and the exhibition Structure and Expression at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1993. The latter exhibition included an installation in the museum’s Sculpture Garden of Shadow Machine, a large-scale sculpture with undulating concrete “fingers.” The most complete exhibition of his work was Santiago Calatrava: Artist, Architect, Engineer, presented at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy (2000- 2001). Similar exhibitions were mounted in 2001 in Dallas, Texas (to inaugurate the new Meadows Museum) and in Athens, at the National Gallery, Alexandro Soutzos Museum.
Major projects that were recently inaugurated include Sondica Airport, Bilbao (2000); The Bridge of Europe, Orléans, France (2000); the Bodegas Ysios Winery in Laguardia, Spain (2001); and Calatrava’s first building in the United States, theacclaimed expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum (2001). Other projects that were recently completed are Blackhall Place Bridge, Dublin, Ireland (early 2003); Tenerife Opera House, Santa Cruz, Canary Islands (September 2003); Petach Tikvah Bridge, Tel Aviv, Israel (spring 2003); Quatro Ponte sul Canal Grande, Venice, Italy (late 2003/early 2004); Turtle Bay Bridge, Redding, California (summer 2004); the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (summer 2004); and the Valencia Opera House (2004), the last major building in his City of Arts and Sciences.
Among his major recent commissions, Calatrava has been selected to design Christ the Light Cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, California; and Symphony Center for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta, Georgia.
Honors and awards given to Santiago Calatrava include the Gold Medal of the Institute of Structural Engineers, London; the City of Toronto Urban Design Award; designation as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos; the Creu Sant Jordi, Barcelona; the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts, Ministry of Culture, Spain; membership in Les Arts et Lettres, Paris; the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts (Meadows School of the Arts); the Gold Medal of the Circulo de Bellas Artes, Valencia; Time Magazine’s “Best of 2001” designation for the expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Sir Misha Black Medal, Royal College of Art, London; the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, Société pour la Formation des Ingénieurs; and the Principe de Asturias Art Prize; the High Gold Medal of Architecture of L’ Académie d’Architecture, Paris; the Silver Beam Award of the Swedish Institute of Steel Construction and the International Illumination Design Award of Merit, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America for the interior lighting of the expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum. In addition, Santiago Calatrava has received 12 honorary doctorates to date.
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