Spiraling Skyscrapers: Rounding Up the World’s Tallest Twisting Towers

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization responsible for world records in architecture, has announced its definitive list of the world’s highest twisting skyscrapers (either completed or under construction), many of which are truly stunning. The 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.”

diamond tower

The Diamond Tower (above) being built in Dubai is perhaps the most impressive such spiral structure, its rotating floors extending out from a central spire and adding a dynamic visual layer. It is the second-tallest in the list.

shanghai tower

At 2073 feet, the Shanghai Tower by Gensler is the tallest to date (also the second-tallest tower in the world aside from its twist).  The CTBUH reports that these approach to tall architecture is trending around the world. While any single reason would be speculative, one can assume that the variation from floor to floor is part of the appeal, both for internal occupants and in terms of the dynamic profiles this variety entails.

cayan towe

The third-tallest is the Cayan Tower in Dubai by SOM. “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.”