Building in motion

  • At first glance, the sleekly twisted Dynamic Tower exhibits little sign of its unique capabilities. But then, as the individual floors begin to move, something extraordinary happens.
  • A view of the proposed Dynamic Tower planned for Moscow.
Date:31 August 2008 Tags:, , ,

When complete, it will stand 80 storeys tall, generate its own electricity, and give new meaning to the phrase ‘360-degree views’. Meet the world’s first rotating skyscraper…

Dubai has long been associated with mega-scale projects, including the world’s tallest building and world’s largest artificial island complex (“Thinking big”, June issue). But the latest architectural concept to emerge from the oil-rich emirate is the wildest yet – a 420 m-tall skyscraper with 80 floors that rotate independently of each other to create a building that constantly changes shape. If all goes according to plan, it will become the first self-powered skyscraper in history.

It gets better. Wind turbines slotted between the floors, complemented by layers of solar panels on the roof of each level, will generate enough electricity to power everything in the building – dubbed Dynamic Tower – as well as neighbouring skyscrapers. Residential accommodation will range in size from 124 m² to luxury “penthouse villas” measuring 1 200 m², the latter featuring a parking space inside the apartment (cars will be carried up and down in a special lift). The first 20 floors will be occupied by offi es, floors 21 to 35 will be run as a luxury hotel, floors 36 through 70 will be residential apartments, and the top 10 floors will be allocated to shameless hedonism. Think full automation, indoor swimming pools, Italian marble bathrooms, state-of-the-art electronic security, and enough pampering facilities to put commercial spas to shame.

The man behind the project is visionary architect David Fisher, who sees the building as the herald of a new era in architecture. As he tells it: “Buildings in motion will challenge traditional architecture, becoming the symbol of a new philosophy that will change the look of our cities and the concept of living.”

It won’t stop there, either. Rotating Tower Dubai Development Ltd, headed by the Dynamic Group, has also revealed advanced plans for a second Dynamic Tower – this one a 70-storey building in Moscow scheduled for completion in 2010. Says Fisher: “Our intention is to build the third rotating skyscraper in New York. Additional rotating towers will be built around the world, following an expression of interest from developers, governments and public officials in Canada, Germany, Italy, Korea and Switzerland.”

The Dynamic Tower is said to be the first skyscraper to be built entirely from prefabricated parts, an approach that requires far fewer construction workers on site. Aside from a dramatic reduction in costs, this method allows tenants to customise their units with minimal fuss. Each floor of the building can be completed in only seven days.

Individual units – equipped with all necessary plumbing and electrical systems, bathrooms, kitchens, cabinets, lighting and furniture – will be completed at the new Rotating Tower factory in Italy and exported worldwide. The pre-assembled units are hooked to each other mechanically, obviating the need for messy and noisy unloading and the build-up of waste products. The company also cites a reduced risk of construction accidents and a much shorter construction schedule.

Fisher believes it’s the construction method of the future, with significant benefits for occupants and developers as well as the guardians of aesthetic principles: “From now on, buildings will be made in a factory. Today’s life is dynamic, so the space we are living in should be dynamic as well… adjustable to our continuously changing needs and moods.

“In the future, buildings will follow the rhythms of Nature, changing direction and shape from spring to summer, from sunrise to sunset, and adjusting themselves to the weather. Buildings in motion will shape the skyline of our cities.”

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