While the elevator pushed upwards, smoothly, but nonetheless at what felt like rocket speed, the small TV monitor above the metal door failed miserably at grabbing my attention.
As I ascended, the seemingly random numbers on the control panel flew by; 1, 4, 9. 17, 26, 32, 48 and at last, level 54.
At almost 200 meters, I had finally reached the very top of the Turning Torso. The 54th is one of two beautifully decorated conference floors where for over a decade, hundreds of celebrities, political leaders and dignitaries from all over the world have had breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings – all the while enjoying spectacular views of Malmö – and across the Öresund Strait, the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
I’ve been well-acquainted with the Turning Torso for almost 15 years now. In fact, even before the very first cement trucks, tall cranes and bulldozers had arrived at the massive construction site, I was hired to fly in a helicopter and document the amazing panoramic views that residence would appreciate, once the building was completed.
Back then, I doubt if there were many people in Malmö that could have imagined how immensely significant a landmark the Turning Torso would eventually become or the magnitude of positive international PR the project would have on both the city itself and for Sweden.
In the late 1990s, Malmö was in pretty bad shape as the ship building industry and related businesses closed down – replaced only with a fathomless void and a deep-rooted identity crisis that seemed to paralyze many.
Thanks to the Öresund Bridge, the housing expo, “Bo01” and Turning Torso, as well as an underground commuter rail system and most recently, Malmö Live, Malmö has once again risen and become relevant again – and almost unimaginably attractive as a place to establish a business, study and live.
In 2005, after about four years, the architectural splendor called the Turning Torso, designed by the much-admired, yet often controversial Spanish painter, engineer and architect, Santiago Calatrava, was finally completed. It’s now been more than ten years since the very first residents moved in.
During last year’s celebration of the decade since being completed, the Turning Torso was recognized as the winner of the prestigious “10 Year Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat” (CTBUH) in Chicago.
In addition to the internationally recognized prize, I was commissioned to produce a beautiful coffee table photo book with interviews of residence, images from their homes, a few interesting facts, stories of famous visitors and several of my favorite and most popular photos of the magnificent building.
I feel lucky to live so close to the Turning Torso – we actually see it from several of our home’s windows. And with my studio and gallery being literally feet away from the skyscraper’s lavish entrance, it’s hard to not pass by without feeling humbled by its beauty and in awe of its monumental size and intriguingly complex, asymmetrical design.
Since it first opened, I’ve been fortunate to have had several dozen assignments in and even on top of the Turning Torso. I’ve shot weddings, food and products from both the 53rd and 54th floors.
And though not freely accessible for non-residents, each summer, the good folks at Sky High Meetings open up their doors and welcome several groups of visitors to take the elevator up to the 53rd or 54th, enjoy the wide-reaching views and partake in a most thoughtful presentation by Jan “Mr. Turning Torso” Andersson, a gentleman who knows the building’s fascinating history, facts and engaging anecdotes better than anyone else on the planet.
As the Turning Torso is called home by several hundred residents, the amount of visitors and dates to visit is understandably limited.
But if you call today, chances are you too will be as mesmerized and impressed as I was on that very first day when I stepped out of the elevator and onto the 54th floor.
A visit to Sweden’s tallest skyscraper is a truly memorable experience. So, to make a reservation for the summer of 2016, please call:
+46(0)40-17 45 00.
Tickets cost SEK 195
(SEK 150 for HSB members).
Pay upon arrival with all major credit cards (except AMEX).
For more information about special needs, business meetings, conferences and private gatherings, please visit: skyhighmeetings.com/en