Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Tall Buildings in Numbers
Twisting Tall Buildings
August 2016

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CTBUH defines a “twisting” building as one that progressively rotates its floor plates or its façade as it gains height. Usually, but not always, each plate is shaped similarly in plan and is turned on a shared axis a consistent number of degrees from the floor below. A stunning variety of textures, view angles, and ripple effects results from these manipulations, making these “twisters” some of the world’s most iconic buildings – and in many cases, aerodynamic and energy-efficient. In this study, we rank the world’s 28 tallest twisting towers (either completed or under construction as of July 2016) and display selected variations on the theme.
Comparison of height vs. total rotation for 90 m+ buildings currently complete or under-construction. (View interactive version)
Global Twisting Icons © CTBUH (View interactive version)
When the Turning Torso designed by Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers was completed in 2005, the world had its first twisting skyscraper. In the 11 years since then, an additional 28 buildings of at least 90 meters in height have been completed or began construction in 19 countries across five continents. Aided by new technologies assisting architectural and structural design, a proliferation of tall twisting towers is now spreading across the globe.
360° In addition to being planned as the world’s next-tallest twisting tower, Diamond Tower would also be the only building to twist a full 360 degrees along its height. 5.9° F&F Tower, Panama City, holds the record for the “tightest” twist, that is, the highest average rotation per floor, at 5.943 degrees across each of its 53 floors.
The World’s Tallest “Twisting” Towers
Included below are all buildings, over 90 meters, under construction or complete as of July 2016, that “twist” through a gradual rotation of floor plates, ranked in order from the tallest. The table identifies the absolute degrees of rotation from the ground floor to the top floor plate, typically determined through an examination of technical drawings and comparison of floor plans. It also shows the average floor rotation, determined by dividing total rotation by the total floor count.Shaded rows indicate buildings under construction.
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