David Fisher, an Italian architect started construction on a new skyscraper in Dubai that will be “the world’s first building in motion,” an 80-story tower with revolving floors that give it an ever-shifting shape.
The spinning floors, hung like rings around an immobile cement core, would offer residents a constantly changing view of the Persian Gulf and the city’s futuristic skyline.
A few penthouse villas would spin on command using a voice-activated computer. The motion of the rest of the building would be choreographed in patterns that could be altered over time.
Giant wind turbines installed between every floor, he said, will generate enough electricity to power the entire building, and lifts will allow penthouse residents to park their cars right in their apartments.
Fisher said each floor will be prefabricated in an Italian factory, then shipped to the site to be attached to the core. Assembling a building in this fashion, he said, will require only 80 technicians and take only 20 months, saving tens of millions of dollars, for a total cost of $700 million to build.
On its face, the project seems to pose a number of complicated engineering puzzles.
How would the plumbing hookups work in an apartment that is constantly moving? Fisher said the pipes will connect to the core via attachments similar to the ones used by military aircraft for in-flight refueling.
Wouldn’t people get dizzy? No, says Fisher. The rotations will be slow enough that no one will notice.
With so many moving parts, wouldn’t the building be a maintenance nightmare? Fisher said the building’s modular construction will allow easy access to parts that need to be replaced.
Sales of individual apartments have begun with asking prices of around $3,000 per square foot. The smallest, at 1,330 square feet, would cost about $4 million and the largest, a 12,900-square-foot villa, $38.7 million. (Thanks for the tip Dad)