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Reality of the Future or Castle in the Air?

A few years ago, architect David Fisher teamed up with the firm Rotating Tower Dubai Development, part of the Dynamic Architecture Group to design a new kind of skyscraper made from prefabricated units which would project a fluid silhouette that would literally change shape before your eyes.  The Israeli born Italian architect and the British based development company unveiled their plans for the buildings with presentations in New York and other major cities worldwide.  Construction on two towers, one to be erected in Dubai and the other in Moscow, was expected to begin in 2008, with the Dubai tower’s completion date set for 2010 and the Moscow tower’s completion the following year.  However, delays in getting approval for land acquisition in Dubai and in getting needed patents issued, as well as the global economic downturn which decreased the market for luxury real estate postponed the projects, perhaps indefinitely.

Whether or not the Dubai Tower ever gets built, it is interesting to look at Fisher’s design and imagine how amazing it would be to see a skyscraper like this someday.  Known by several names including the Dynamic Tower, The Dynamic Hotel, and the Da Vinci Tower, it was planned to reach 80 floors which would include luxury apartments, a hotel and retail space.  Each floor would rotate individually under the direction of tenants or through a set program, with the effect that the outward shape of the building would continually change.  Between each of these floors would be horizontal wind turbines, and each floor would also use solar panels making the building completely self-powered.  Every conceivable luxury was included in the tower’s design.  There was even a planned elevator to bring residents’ vehicles up to be parked in their apartments. 

In June 2009, an article in a United Arab Emirates web publication quoted Fisher as stating that construction on the Dubai tower was then set to begin that fall after Ramadan and to be completed by the fall of 2011.  However, the article also mentioned that by that time the project had lost one of its original financial backers as developers everywhere were struggling with falling markets.  There has not been any recent news about this project.

Still, dynamic architecture, sometimes called responsive architecture or kinetic architecture, is much more than a visionary concept. It has already been implemented in smaller projects around the world, and may yet become the highlight of exceptional skylines in the future.


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Anonymous's picture

very interesting update about this rotating tower. Actually a high-rise rotating building has been build in Curritba, Brazil called Suite Vollard. For more examples of kinetic architecture visit http://www.kineticarchitecture.net

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