Spiral effect: TOP-10 most twisted buildings in the world

Эффект спирали: ТОП-10 самых «скрученных» зданий мира
20 September 2021 Liza Medvetskaya

In 2005, the official opening of a unique skyscraper called Turning Torso took place in the Swedish town of Malmö.

When the famed architect Santiago Calatrava designed this building, he had no idea that he would usher in a new era of twisted buildings architecture.

He was inspired by his own sculpture in the form of a rotated male torso. Thanks to an extremely impressive result, giving the feeling of "spinning" around an axis, modern technology quickly gained great popularity, especially in Asia and the Middle East.

Today, the unusual and at the same time very laconic form of such high-rises attracts attention and becomes the main topic for selfies among thousands of tourists in many countries of the world.

We invite you to take a closer look at ten of the most famous twisted buildings in the world.

1. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai (China)

The tallest "twisted" tower was built in 2015 in Shanghai. Its height is 632 meters (128 floors). Today, the Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in China, it is in the top 3 tallest buildings in the world, after Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828 m) and the Sky Tree Tower in Tokyo (634 m). Shanghai Tower is part of a composition of three ultra-modern high-rises, symbolizing the progress and prosperity of the city and the country as a whole.

The design of the skyscraper is unique and balanced - it is the main core of nine cylindrical buildings stacked on top of each other and surrounded by an outer shell. Each of the nine sections includes an atrium with gardens, restaurants, shopping areas and panoramic city views.

The project was invented by the American architectural agency Gensler's design, its implementation took 6 years, and the construction budget was $2.5 billion. The "Shanghai Tower" is the main attraction and symbol of the city, which annually attracts about 2.8 million tourists.

The Shanghai Tower was built in the Pudong area, which 20 years ago was a quiet agricultural place. Now, it is an international business center in the heart of 24 million Shanghai, one of the most populous places on earth. The creators of the tower call their creation a full-fledged city, since the skyscraper is provided with everything necessary for an autonomous existence: it independently generates energy, has its own transport hub and a full-fledged branched infrastructure.

In addition, the use of modern technology has made the Shanghai Tower the safest skyscraper for the environment. It has received many green building certificates and awards, and was ranked in the top 5 most energy efficient buildings in the world according to the Asian edition of Eco-Business. The skyscraper has a highly efficient façade, behind which are high-rise gardens, a rainwater recycling system and several wind turbines located under the parapet. Alternative energy sources are used for heating and cooling.

2. Cayan Tower, Dubai (UAE)

Cayan Tower is located in one of the most fashionable areas of Dubai - in Marina. The building is a 75-storey residential skyscraper with a height of 307 meters and is one of the ten tallest residential buildings in the world.

The Cayan Tower was designed by the American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), which is also the author of the concept designs for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill SOM.

The shape of the tower resembles a drill. The skyscraper looks especially great in the dark, when thousands of backlighting lights highlight its unusual design. The apartment windows overlook one of the most prestigious marinas in the world and the Palm Jumeirah Island. The project has received several prestigious architecture awards, including the International Property Awards. This international commercial real estate award is a globally recognized seal of excellence.

It is worth noting that the construction of the skyscraper began in 2006. In February 2007, the construction site and foundations were flooded with water that erupted from the world's largest artificial deep-water harbor, Jabal Ali. The pit, more than 20 meters deep, was flooded within minutes. Several hundred builders were successfully evacuated and the incident was without casualties. The construction of the skyscraper was frozen for more than one year. Work on the project resumed in the summer of 2008.

The grand opening of the Cayan Tower took place on June 10, 2013. This event was widely covered in the press, a large-scale laser show and fireworks were organized. It is noteworthy that initially the skyscraper was planned to be called Infinity. However, the owner of the skyscraper announced during the opening ceremony that the building was changing its name to Cayan. This decision was justified by the fact that there are already several towers in the world with the name Infinity, and Cayan is an original and unique name.

The twisted structure of the Cayan Tower is achieved by rotating each floor by 1.2 degrees around the cylindrical elevator and the service core of the building. It was built on a foundation reaching a depth of 27 meters. In addition to the aboveground floors, the tower has 7 underground floors, it is equipped with 8 elevators, and a parking lot for more than 600 cars. There are 495 luxury apartments in the building.

In addition to living quarters, the tower has all the necessary infrastructure for good rest and entertainment. It has a restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, spa center, tennis court, fully equipped gym, children's playground, conference rooms, pet kennel, massage rooms. Residents enjoy 24-hour concierge, security and secure parking.

3. Evolution Tower, Moscow (Russia)

The Evolution Tower is part of the Moscow City complex and is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the Russian capital. The tower differs from all other buildings with its unique twisting shape, reminiscent of a DNA molecule. Each of the floors of the skyscraper is rotated relative to the previous one by 3 degrees, as a result, the building "twists" by more than 150 degrees.

The height of the skyscraper is 255 meters (48 floors). The central part and 8 columns with fifteen meter spans are strictly vertical along the entire height. The spiral geometry is repeated with only four corner supports. The top of the building is crowned with two asymmetrical arches with 41 m spans, visually uniting the opposite facades as a sign of infinity. The glazing of the tower is very difficult - cold-formed mirrored glass units were used. Such a continuous tape of curved glazing with a constant slope at the corners created an optical illusion, which reflects the panorama of Moscow, inverted at an angle of 90 degrees to the horizon, i.e. vertically, which has not yet happened in world architecture.

The building was designed by the architectural and design firm RMJM Scotland Limited, which collaborated with Russian architects and builders to develop the project. The project was successfully implemented in 2015, and shortly before its completion it was acquired by Transneft, becoming the corporate headquarters of the company. Subsequently, it received many international and national awards and diplomas.

4. The F&F Tower, Panama City (Panama)

One of the most amazing and spectacular twisting towers can be seen in the capital of Panama, Panama City. The height of the Revolution Tower is 243 meters, and its rotation angle reaches 360 degrees. The skyscraper was completed in 2011 and is officially called The F&F Tower. The tower has 52 floors, its facade was faced with very beautiful mirror tiles, so in the daytime the building looks fantastic.

This amazing tower was the first spiral building in Latin America. The construction of the skyscraper began in 2003 and was completed by 2008, but the skyscraper was commissioned three years later. The structure of the tower is very complex, based on the principle of geometric rotation of the prism. Initially, the project for the construction of a high-rise was a purely theoretical concept, which, thanks to the talent of local architects, was realized.

One of the busy commercial streets of the city was chosen as the location of the building; initially, a plot of a very small area was allocated for the construction of a skyscraper - about 2 thousand m2. The budget for the construction of the Revolution Tower was also strictly limited and amounted to USD 50 million. The architects had no room for error, they managed to implement an amazing project on the first try, without unnecessary time and material costs. Today, a skyscraper built of reinforced concrete with a spectacular emerald-colored facade is one of the main decorations of the city.

5. Al Tijaria Tower, Kuwait

In the capital of Kuwait, tourists have the opportunity to visit the grandiose shopping center Al Tijaria, which is located in one of the most spectacular twisted skyscrapers in the world. The building is 218 meters high and construction began in 2005 and was completed in 2009. The tower has a turn of 80 degrees; an ordinary spiral became the basis for creating a unique architectural project. The skyscraper looks very impressive, especially against the backdrop of low-rise neighborhoods.

The Al-Tijariya Tower is interesting not only for its spectacular appearance, but also for its amazing interior design. Guests of the shopping center have the opportunity to relax in a amazing atrium, which is decorated with vertical gardens and an incredibly interesting illumination system. The high-rise has 41 floors, with two floors located underground.

Currently, the skyscraper houses many interesting shops and gastronomic establishments, and part of the high-rise building has been allocated for offices. Al Tijaria is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Kuwait, where you can watch goods in shining windows for days on end, admire exotic plants in the atrium and enjoy specialties in restaurants, while admiring the panorama of the city. A spectacular skyscraper is located in one of the most modern and actively developing areas of the capital, on Mutanabbi Street.

The tower is the result of the work of NORR Limited and Al Jazera Consultants. The volume, which spirals around the cylindrical base, consists of protruding floor slabs that move clockwise on each floor. Thus, from ground level to the very top floor, the tower makes a turn of 80 degrees. The building is divided vertically into sections of 6 floors, each of which houses an atrium with its own garden.

6. United Tower, Manama (Bahrain)

In the city of Manama, there is a unique 50-storey (200 meters) skyscraper United Tower, which looks like a huge drill. The project is the result of cooperation between the major architectural companies Ahmed Al Qaed Construction and Cooperation Investment House. The skyscraper is known to many travelers thanks to the fashionable Wyndham Hotel Group located within its walls.

The tower was built on a specially created artificial island, which is located in one of the bays of Bahrain. Its opening took place in 2017. About USD2.5 billion was spent on the project. According to one version, the skyscraper, which imitates a huge drill cutting into the ground, is designed to remind local residents and tourists about one of the main values ​​of the Persian Gulf and the island state of Bahrain, in particular, oil.

In addition to the luxury hotel, which occupies 14 floors of the building, the offices of various companies are located within the walls of the building. For travelers, one of the best ways to appreciate the features of a skyscraper from the inside is to stay in one of the elegant rooms of the Wyndham Hotel Group, all rooms are equipped with panoramic windows, they offer a gorgeous view of the city. On the top floors of the hotel, there are attractive restaurants and bars, which will also be a great place to relax and admire the surrounding landscapes.

7. Turning Torso, Malmö (Sweden)

The story of the appearance of one of the most famous towers in Sweden Turning Torso in Malmö is unusual: the fact is that it was not originally intended to be created at all.

As often happens, the idea was born by accident. The architect and sculptor Santiago Calatrava is a fairly well-known personality in the world of modern architecture, almost all of his projects become city attractions. Therefore, when he took part in the competition for the construction of the Øresund Bridge, no one was surprised. It so happened that a brochure with the presentation of the contestants fell into the hands of the head of one of the major building associations, and in it, among other things, there was a photograph of a sculpture by Santiago Calatrava called Turning Torso. The impression was so great that the association invited the sculptor to create a building based on this idea.

The construction lasted four years - from 2001 to 2005, went without any particular difficulties, but it turned out to be twice as expensive as planned. Nevertheless, the building was completed on time, and the apartments in it went on sale. They bought them badly - the price turned out to be too high, so now the association is renting them out.

The skyscraper was built within the city limits, on the shores of the Øresund Strait. The offset of the top block compared to the first, lowest block is 90 degrees clockwise. The skyscraper consists of nine irregularly shaped five-storey blocks located one above the other. A smooth surface, rows of identical windows - there are no decorations on the building, and they are not needed here: such a bizarre shape and such an interesting technical idea do not need them. The total height of the building is 190 m, it is the tallest building in Northern Europe and one of the hallmarks of the city of Malmö, visible from almost anywhere in the city. The project has received several prestigious international awards in the field of urban and high-rise architecture.

The most interesting thing is that it is basically a residential skyscraper: only the first two blocks are occupied by offices, and blocks three to nine are occupied by apartments. There are 147 apartments in total. Floors 53 and 54 are occupied by conference rooms, a rooftop restaurant and an art gallery. At one time, tourists could go inside - into the conference rooms, but now there is no such opportunity, and it's a pity - from such a height the whole district is visible, even neighboring Copenhagen.

8. Absolute World Towers, Ontario (Canada)

Absolute World is a residential condominium complex of twin skyscrapers in Ontario. The project was built by Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group in 2012. The towers are 161 and 179 meters high and there is not a single floor similar to each other. The Absolute Towers are the work of the Chinese studio MAD. Burka from Toronto, who managed to spoil only the lower floors, was also included in the authors. Despite the seeming complexity of the shape, the turrets are extremely simple. It is an elliptical prism, each slice-floor of which is rotated a couple of degrees clockwise. The result was completely different floors - a strong headache, from development to completion of construction. The layouts of the apartments are also not the best. But this drawback brightens up the perimeter balcony.

The architects of the bureau MAD Architects were faced with the task of not only creating an impressive high-rise complex, but also harmoniously fitting it into the urban environment. The twisted shape of the skyscrapers helped to make them part of the surrounding development, removing the usual vertical barriers for high-rise buildings and visually creating a rotation effect that blends well with the surrounding landscapes. The playful and dynamic shape of the towers evokes some human feeling for the buildings, and it's no surprise that the locals nicknamed them Marilyn Monroe, associating them with the obvious and natural sexuality of the forms.

9. Generali Tower, Milan (Italy)

The Generali Tower (Lo Storto) is an elegant skyscraper built in 2017 in Milan, 185 m (607 ft) high with 44 floors (+3 basement floors) and a total area of ​​approximately 67,000 m2 (720,000 square feet). Its designer is the Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. The geometry of the building has a curved shape, while the dimensions of the floors and their orientation along the axis of the tower are different.

Concrete and composite construction. The central core acts as the main horizontal stiffener and resistance. The foundations are of a mixed type of raft and pile, where piles are used as precipitation reduction devices. The main raft is a 2.5 meter (8.2 ft) thick concrete slab supported by 64 piles located in clusters and points under the main load points. In order to withstand the torque due to the deformed arrangement of the columns, the lintels above the main doors are made of composite materials with a mixed use of steel elements, rebar and concrete. Due to the specific shape-dependent deformation effects, a very sophisticated step-by-step analysis of both construction and long-term effects was carried out. A free-form steel podium for commercial use surrounds the base of the building.

The tower is twisted and the geometry of the overall shape is achieved by rotating and resizing the plan on each floor. From the height of the tower, there is a beautiful view of Milan, and the bend directs the upper floors of the tower to the main southeast axis, leading to the 15th century Santa Maria della Grazie church in Bramante.

The Generali Tower has become an important core of the CityLife project, which balances private and public functions, including housing, offices, shops, various services, green spaces and public spaces. Like most modern buildings, the building has a green standard - it is equipped with sun shades, natural ventilation and daylight focusing systems inside the building, so that artificial lighting is minimized. In addition, the support beams help provide energy efficient heating and cooling.

This building, known as Lo Storto, or The Twisted One, sits next to the 202-meter Arata Isozaki Tower, which was completed in 2015.

10. Mode Gakuen Spiral Tower, Nagoya (Japan)

In the Japanese city of Nagoya, there is a 36-story twisted skyscraper Mode Gakuen Spiral, whose height reaches 170 meters. The tower was built on a busy main street in the city, in the immediate vicinity of the Nagoya train station. Unlike other world-famous skyscrapers of the planet, the Mode Gakuen Spiral tower is not the location of office premises, but three large educational centers.

Within its walls are the Gakuen Fashion School, the Information Technology Center and the ISEN Institute of Medicine. The unusual structure of the building was developed with the direct participation of students and has deep meaning. Striving for knowledge and reaching heights in science, they remain an integral part of the real world. The building looks very elegant and looks a bit like a developing train of a dress. It is important to note that the beautiful design is also distinguished by high seismic safety indicators. A special vibration control system was installed at the base of the building, thanks to which the building can withstand strong earthquakes.

The technical features of the building do not end there, special double-glazed windows were installed in it, thanks to which, even in the middle of a hot day, a pleasant coolness remains in the skyscraper. The building has been equipped with special lighting and electricity saving systems and state-of-the-art air conditioning systems. Currently, about 8 thousand students study in three schools, especially for whom various shops and gastronomic establishments have been opened next to the skyscraper.

But what about Cyprus?

Similar buildings will soon appear in Cyprus! This technique is currently being used in the construction of high-rise buildings in Ayia Napa's new marina.

The authors of the project are Smith Group JJR. Investors - business partners: Cypriot businessman Gerasimos Karamondanis and Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

As planned, the two swirling towers: East Tower and West Tower will go up to the sky for 100 meters and stand out favorably against the background of land and sea. On each next floor, according to the architectural idea, the buildings will rotate by about one and a half degrees. This design will provide stunning sea views from all apartments, without exception.

Judging by the design images, the T-shaped twin towers will impress with their graceful and at the same time luxurious beauty. The eastern tower is being built in the commercial center of the marina, while the western tower is being built in a quieter residential area of ​​the complex. Both buildings are designed for 190 apartments: 90 in one and 100 in the other.

The twisted skyscrapers of Ayia Napa's new marina are 'in danger' of becoming one of the most spectacular buildings in the world. We will look forward to the completion of their construction!

You can buy an apartment in a completed or under construction high-rise in Cyprus on DOM Real Estate portal. All options for Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol are collected here! Experts will advise you on your questions, and you will find useful information in the DOMLiVE section.

Read more:

  • TOP 10 most romantic houses in the world (link)
  • The 5 Most Mysterious buildings in the whole entire world (link)
  • Top 6 destinations to buy property abroad (link)
  • First acquaintance with Larnaca (link)
  • Paphos or Limassol: all pros and cons (link)
Source: DOM
Photos: pixabay.com, DOM
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