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article imageArchitecture for the upwardly mobile: The Dynamic Tower, a shape changing skyscraper

By Paul Wallis     Jun 25, 2008 in Lifestyle
Like your skyscrapers crinkly, with “endless different shapes”? Drop in to Dubai and check out the new dancing building. 420 metres tall, apartments that move through 360 degrees, vertigo and seasickness, or flying and eternal motion, take your pick.
Hype isn't noticeably lacking.
The Sydney Morning Herald:
The innovative, 420 metre building features 80 pre-fabricated apartments that spin a full 360 degrees, at voice command, around a central column by means of 79 power-generating wind turbines located between each floor.
"This building will have endless different shapes," (the architect) Fisher told reporters.
As each floor rotates independently from the other, the Dynamic Tower will constantly change its profile, in a new architectural concept that is taking root around the world.
The office executive toy, which also moves around a lot, may be a new architectural concept, but that may be because nobody knew it was saleable architecture.
Aesthetically, it’s a move in some direction, good or bad. The average skyscraper tends to be hideous, irritating, bland, and pretty forgettable as architecture. So if the idea is interesting architecture, it’s getting somewhere.
Cheap, it was never going to be:
The apartments, ranging from 124 to 1,200 square metres, will take between one and three hours to make a complete rotation, and at $US30,000 ($A31,400) per square metres, will cost from $US3.7 million to $US36 million ($A3.8 million to $A37.6 million).
Add to this the cost to salespeople’s conversation about “the view” and it’s pretty expensive,
Technically, it’s something special, and of course that’s not about the moving bits, either:
Fisher said the pre-fabricated components made in a plant in Altamura, southern Italy, will allow the skyscraper to go up in record time - one floor per week instead of the usual one-per-six-weeks for similar high rises - and slash building costs by 10 per cent.
That is actually a major achievement, and good economics. Applied to a normal skyscraper, it would mean a massive cut in costs. Applied to the average home, it would reduce costs dramatically.
Still have to wonder about the whole idea, though.
For a species that once used to live in trees that blew about in the wind, human beings have apparently come full circle… at a price.
More about Dubai, Skyscraper, Dynamic tower
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