The Turning Torso: Living the High Life

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Malmö’s famous Turning Torso skyscraper is among the tallest housing blocks in Europe. Behind the ultra-modern exterior is one of the world's most luxurious apartment complexes, writes Paul Steele.


People in the south of Sweden are total sceptics to new projects until they’re finished. The Öresund Bridge – no one will ever use it. The City Tunnel – complete waste of money. Turning Torso – Ha! Who would ever want to live there? I for one, and probably half of south Sweden and greater Copenhagen for another.

One of the tallest accommodation blocks in Europe, Turning Torso is the leading light of the newly created Western Harbour area of Malmö. It’s one of the most spectacular and luxurious apartment complexes in the world, with interiors priding the best of Scandinavian design, and a view that is, literally, breathtaking. It is the defining landmark of a new, vibrant region, the Öresund region of southern Sweden and greater Copenhagen, with a total of over 3.5 million inhabitants.

Turning Torso is built as a series of cubes spiralling around a central column that gives the appearance of a person’s twisted body. It took the Tower of Pisa hundreds of years to reach an effect that is nowhere near as spectacular as this is. It reaches 190 metres above sea level and consists of nine cubes with five storeys in each cube. There are 54 floors altogether, housing 152 apartments in the top seven cubes and with offices in the bottom two.

Turning Torso isn’t just life on a higher plane, it’s billed as the ultimate living experience. Fancy a trip to the Ballet in Copenhagen, or need to book a flight to London? No problem, just give the concierge in the reception a call. Entertaining a few colleagues? Great, get him to send you up a couple of bottles of your more exclusive wines from your own area in the wine cellar. Fancy a party? Book one of the conference rooms to entertain fifty or so of your closest friends. If you’re a gym rat, pop down – or up - to the relax area on the 43rd floor where you can pound away on the step machine, taking in the magnificent sea view beneath you. Then it’s off for a quick sauna and Jacuzzi before taking the lift down to your office in one of the first two cubes.

Turning Torso is not without its critics, however. It’s not just the building that spirals; the costs have done their fair bit too. In Sweden we all have to be equal (although everyone likes to be more equal than their peers) and it’s this attitude that has dominated the thoughts about the whole new Western Harbour area including Turning Torso. Everyone wants to live there, no one wants to admit it and not enough local people can afford it. Mind you, the tide is turning and people realize that if the economy is going to grow, then it will do so thanks to entrepreneurs that can afford to live at the top of Turning Torso.

For my part, I can’t wait to sit in my apartment, high up on the 50th floor, drinking wine from my own cellar and relishing every second of my newfound “Art of Living” as they refer to it at the Torso.

Paul Steele

This article originally appeared in South of Sweden magazine.


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