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Deconstructing the 'Formula One of Housing': Screen Representations of Malmö's Turning Torso

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The transnational Öresund region, created in 1999, comprises the urban regions of Malmö in southern Sweden and Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Its spatial transformation has been marked by large-scale landmark architectural projects such as the Öresund Bridge linking the two cities and the mixed-use redevelopment of the Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) district in Malmö in which the Turning Torso residential skyscraper sits. This paper examines two screen representations of the Turning Torso that have emerged from its construction to its current status as a go-to landmark used to denote the region. The spatial changes of Malmö have been documented by Fredrik Gertten, whose film Sossen, arkitekten och det skruvade huset (The Socialist, the Architect, and the Twisted Tower, 2005) maps the web of human and socio-political relationships surrounding the construction of the skyscraper. In the popular crime fiction television series Bron/Broen (The Bridge, 2011–), the gleaming façade of the Turning Torso stands in stark visual contrast to the fragmented and broken welfare state society in which the drama takes place. By examining the socio-political context of the Turning Torso's development and its manifestation in the cultural sphere via screen media, this paper argues that these audiovisual texts articulate and critique the tensions between modern Scandinavian welfare state ideology and neoliberal trajectories represented by the Turning Torso.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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