Complex Made Simple

Rotating architecture: 5 spinning buildings & structures

The Dubai skyline is a glittering example of a futuristic city with its crown jewel, the Burj Khalifa and the seven star hotel Burj Al Arab reminiscent of a ship’s sail.  For those who wish for a fresh panorama without moving to a new home there could be a solution.

The Dynamic Tower, Dubai

First announced back in 2008 before being put on hold, Dynamic Architecture’s rotating skyscraper project has been rekindled. As the Expo 2020 approaches plans of a building, which rotates 360 degrees, are underway and an elite set will be able to reside in this hotel tower for $30 million for an apartment.

Why would you pay that price for a home in a building you ask?  This magnificent structure will be 80 storeys high standing tall at 1,375 feet. The individual apartments will rotate around a concrete core so you could wake up to the vista of the sea in the morning and spend the evening with soothing greens of a lush garden.

The building has been in the planning stages since 2008 with a visionary, Israeli- Italian architect David Fisher at the helm.

The residents will control the speed of rotation of each apartment through simple voice commands.  They will also be able to stop the apartment from spinning completely if they so choose. The striking structure boasts 79 horizontal-lying wind turbines, which will generate the power to sustain the building. In addition, the solar panels of the roof will create more energy than would be needed to keep this architectural marvel spinning.

The apartments in the building will offer another level of luxury with a dynamic car parking system. A dedicated elevator built inside the central concrete floor will allow the residents to transport their car to their floor and park it right next to their apartment.

Buildings in motion is not a new concept and there have been several rotating structures attempted successfully by architects around the world.

David Fisher himself is known to be working on similar dynamic towers in Moscow, London and Paris.

Including Fisher there is a new generation of architects challenging the idea of a home itself through a moving structure in a way that you wake up to the sunrise and fall asleep enjoying a sunset visible from the same window.

Here are a few other rotating homes and buildings that have embraced this innovation in architecture:

The Heliotrope, Germany

When this pioneering building was completed in 1994, it was the first of its kind as it boasted creating more energy than it used. Its innovative creator, the Germany based architect Rolf Disch designed this four storey home with a center that is linked by a spiral staircase. The central column of the building follows the sun and rotates 15 degrees per hour.

The Everingham Rotating House

This inventive home appears to be like any other with a surrounding verandah overlooking a river but it is in fact rotating on a central axis 360 degrees. The architectural feature that makes this possible, is the 78 foot diameter steel platform on which the house is placed.

The proud owner of the home Luke Everingham moved into his dream home in 2006. An interesting observation he made was that while you don’t really feel that the house is moving, the fact becomes evident when one focuses ones attention on a fixed object outside the home.

The Villa Girasole, Italy

This beautiful L shaped two storey home is placed on a 144 feet diameter circular base. An Italian engineer Angelo Invernizzi, an Italian engineer built this home between 1929 and 1935. The house follows the movement of the sun with a maximum speed of four millimeters per second. The house rotates with the power of two diesel engines!

Suite Vollard, Brazil

This rotating 160 feet high building was the brainchild of Bruno de Franco, built between 1995 and 2001. The building’s 11 residential apartments can rotate a full 360 degrees in 60 minutes.

The challenges of rotating architecture

There are many advantages of a rotating building such as the changing vista and the possibility of eco-friendliness but it is not without its challenges. The biggest issue faced by such a structure is the plumbing system which needs to accommodate the movement aspect of the building. Another challenge faced by the architects and developers is the electrical wiring and connections in a moving home.

While the architect of the Dubai Dynamic Tower, David Fisher has divulged little in terms of technical aspects of the building, he does seem to have solved these issues successfully as the world waits for the unveiling of this amazing architectural innovation in the year 2020.