Tall buildings with a twist: CTBUH ranks the world’s 28 tallest twisting towers

In 2005, the Turning Toroso, designed by Santiago Calatrava, was completed, making it the first twisting skyscraper in the world.

August 22, 2016 |

Pixabay Public Domain

Move over citrus, your days of being associated with the word “twist” may soon be coming to a close as skyscrapers, and not martini glasses, are the new prime location for all things twisting and turning.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat defines a twisting building as one that progressively rotates its floor plates or façade as it gains height. Often, the floor plates are shaped similarly in plan and are turned on a shared axis a consistent number of degrees from the floor below. Not only does this practice lead to some of the most eye-catching skyscrapers in the world, but it also provides benefits in the form of improved aerodynamics and energy-efficiency.

For example, the Shanghai Tower, which stands 2,073 feet tall, has a twist that reduces wind-load by 24% and saved $58 million in structural material over the course of construction.

Once a novelty when the world’s first twisting tower, Turning Torso, debuted 11 years ago, a proliferation of twisting skyscrapers is now beginning to spread around the world. The United States is about to get its first twisting high-rises in the form of Miami’s Grove at Grand Bay towers, Russia is constructing a 462-m twisting tower in St. Petersburg that, among twisting skyscrapers, will be second in height only to the Shanghai Tower when completed, and the Diamond tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will not only become the third tallest twisting tower in the world, it will also be the only tower to twist a full 360 degrees along its height, and will also have an average floor rotation of 3.871 degrees (F&F Tower in Panama City has the record for the “tightest” twist with an average rotation per floor of 5.943 degrees).

As of July 2016, there are a total of 28 twisting buildings around the world that are over 90 meters tall. CTBUH has ranked each of these buildings, from tallest to shortest, while also including their floor count, completion (or estimated completion) year, average floor rotation, and total rotation from the ground floor to the top floor plate.

Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China), Lakhta Center (St. Petersburg, Russia 2018), Diamond Tower (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2019), Ocean Heights (Dubai, UAE), and Cayan Tower (Dubai, UAE) are the five tallest towers currently built or under construction.

For the full list, click here.

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