Contemporary Architecture


Santiago Calatrava

  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Engineer

Early Life

  • Born on July 28, 1951 in a town of Benimamet, near Valencia, Spain
  • Attended primary and secondary school in Valencia
  • Attended the arts and crafts school from the age of 8
  • Degree in architecture from  Escuela Tecnica Superior De Architectura
  • Took a post-graduate course in urbanism
  • Post-graduate studies in Civil engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland in 1975

Inspiration & Styles

  • Inspired by nature’s Creativity in different forms
  • Reflection of  works of Antoni Gaudi and Hector Guimard (Art Nouveau)
  • Experimentation with materials
  • Structural Expertise blended with impressive visual style
  • Symbolic – sense of movement captured in a stationary object.
  • Stark white material and flawless use of glass and steel
  • Had a definite vision of inside and outside, the concave and convex
  • His work is like music: well orchestrated – sculptural aesthetics yet functional perfection

HSB, Turning Torso, Malma, Sweden, 1999-2005

The residential tower is meant to be seen as a freestanding sculptural element posed within the cityscape. The equivalent in the tower of the sculpture’s steel support is the nucleus off internal elevators and stairs through with  the box units communicate

– Santiago Calatrava


  • Based on a sculpture by Calatrava called Twisting Torso
  • 190 feet high tower of concrete and steel
  • Twists 90 degrees from bottom to top towards the city’s waterfront – with each of the 54 floors tilting 1.6 degrees
  • Designed for a prominent urban site on the occasion of the European Housing Expo 2001
  • The spiraling tower is composed of nine box units, each of five floors
  • Each floor consists of an irregular pentagonal shape rotating around the vertical core, which is supported by an exterior steel framework – EXOSKELETON
  • Three lifts connect to the residential area (3rd – 7th cube) , while there are two dedicated lifts for office areas


  • Glass and aluminum construction
  • Doubly curved to facilitate the twist
  • 2,800 panels and 2,250 windows
  • Following the twist of the building, the windows are leaning either inwards or outwards  by 0 to 7 degrees

Handing Wind Load

  • Dimensions of foundations optimized by wind tunnel test
  • The result is the 7 meters thick concrete structure with 30 meters in diameter
  • In a storm with a wind speed of 44 m/s, building’s top will only have a slow movement of 30 cm

Structural System

  • Exoskeleton – Welded steel  support  at the pointed end with a very thorough paint treatment for optimal protection against corrosion and supported by two stabilizers in each floor
  • 20 horizontal and 18 diagonal ”steel cigars” connected with structural walls spanning two floors at the top of each cube
  • Offices and other areas
  • 4,200m² of office space on floors 2–12, the first two cubes has its own pair of lifts, as well as separate heating, cooling and IT systems
  • top two floors have been reserved for meeting rooms
  • A separate parking block for residents and business tenants can be accessed via a private tunnel
  • Guest House, gym,  sauna, Jacuzzi, and a panorama room is located on 43rd floor


  • No typical plan – Each apartment has an unique design
  • The total apartment area is about 13,500 m², from the third to the ninth cube.
  • 147 apartments (45 m² to 190 m².)
  • Floor-to-ceiling height – 2.5 meters
  • Living Room –large and open often with views in two directions
  • Floor to ceiling ht – 2.7 m : impression of light and space


  • Energy Efficiency
    • Electricity is supplied with 100% locally produced renewable energy through the energy concept developed by   Sydkraft
    • Heat is supplied by solar cells and underground water reservoirs, aquifers.
    • All installations are energy efficient
    • Rain water harvesting
  • Waste management
    • Kitchen waste disposal unit in every apartment for grinding organic waste.
    • Waste transported though separate pipes for decomposition and biogas production at Malmö’s waste incinerator and heat plant
    • Recycling done in building itself
    • Non recyclable waste collected in a garbage chute at the basement level


  • Dynamic form
  • Structural Supremacy
  • Sculptural Aesthetics
  • Functionally Sound
  • Energy conscious design
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Judicious utilization of waterfront to create a picturesque view
  • Overall  an iconic building

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