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A boom in twisted towers is reshaping our skylines

New study looks at a head-turning trend spreading to cities across the globe

Since 2005, dozens of torqued skyscrapers have sprung up all over the globe, from Santiago Calatrava’s 2005 Turning Torso to the 2015 supertall Shanghai Tower (RIP, Chicago Spire). Now, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has turned their attention to the trend, running the numbers on the world’s 28 tallest twisted towers.

So what makes a "twisted" building? CTBUH looked at towers with floor plates or facades that progressively rotate along the height of the structure. All of the buildings in the study are at least 90 meters tall (about 295 feet) and were found in 19 countries across five continents. Made possible by improvements in technology, these twisting towers, in many cases, are both more energy-efficient and aerodynamic, using their curved profile to channel and direct the wind that buffets tall buildings.

Only one skyscraper—the under-construction Diamond Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia—rotates a full 360 degrees as it rises from base to spire. Panama City’s F&F Tower has the tightest twist, turning 5.943 degrees as it rises 53 stories.

The United States’ contribution to the list are the pair of Bjarke Ingels-designed towers at Grove at Grand Bay in Miami, Florida.

Source: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat