Wow, that's cool! When Cityplace gets around to building its signature tower, perhaps they should consider a "turning torso" like this.
This is a success story for the Vancouver urban design panel. If not for the panel's critique of the original proposal, this would never have been designed. Just one reason why Toronto should have one.
wylie's right - the real story here is that Vancouver has its urban design panel to thank for this design. And you can guarantee that if we did have a panel here, and it forced a developer back to the drawing board, we'd all be hearing howls of protest from the development lobby and their pet politicians.
There were even comments that the tower could go higher to be on par with Shangri-la which is about 42 ft. taller in order to create a gateway. Exceeding a height limit in Vancouver is not an easy thing to do.
A bit of a battle going on - Shangri-La has applied to add a floor, which will raise its penthouse above the height of 1133 West Georgia's mechanical penthouse (now at 600ft). If they get approval, the top of the highest habitable floor wil be 623 ft - 23 ft above the City's stated maximum under the higher buildings policy. Assuming a 10ft ceiling height, the penthouse floor is just 13 ft above 1133's mech penthouse. The building envelope (including mech penthouse) would only rise 6ft to 646ft (figures from City of Vancouver, whch differ from Skyscrapers.com).