With the ever-increasing use of gadgets, constant immersion in the virtual world, and other distracting stimuli, the average human attention span has reduced to that of a goldfish. To keep up, designers are emphasizing impressively built structures that intend to have dynamic designs and leave the onlooker awe-struck, and the visitor engrossed in an unforgettable experience enriched by a polyphony of senses.

Let us look at ten tips to create such dynamic designs: 

1. Use Contrast 

‘In every case, one must achieve a simultaneous solution of opposites’ – Alvar Aalto. 

The architect’s ability to establish an omnipresent tension held by seemingly contradictory forces translates into the user’s dynamic encounter.

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The Villa Malaparte, considered to be an accurate self-portrait of the quirky owner, is an intentional house of paradoxes.

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The eye-catching futuristic extension of the Royal Ontario Museum by Daniel Libeskind has ensured the revival of the Museum as the dynamic center of Toronto.

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The unexpected playful contrast in the mix of architecture reflects Greenwich’s design district ideals of inducing interaction and togetherness. 

2. Use Sculptural Forms

‘I have tried to get close to the frontier between architecture and sculpture and understand architecture as an art’ – Santiago Calatrava.

Looking to be in a trepidatious sense of equilibrium as if ready to take off or fall, buildings that have frozen motion in their appearance have always captured the attention of the public unilaterally.

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With swooping curves, a soaring shell, and a fluid open interior, Eero Saarinen went above and beyond function in designing the TWA Flight Center.

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The colossal structure of the Oculus World Trade Centre Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava stuns the viewer with its vast steel wings like a graceful dove set to fly.

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Dramatic undulating roof shell emulating the surrounding mountain ranges by Steyn Studio for Bosjes Chapel has a ‘floating’ poetic dynamism. 

3. Use Surrealism

‘Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision’ – Salvador Dali. 

Elements of surprise and shock electrify the ambiance of the space giving it dynamic surrealism. Curiosity kindled by the unanticipated eccentricity of the design due to exaggerated scale, distorted perspectives, and avant-garde elements keep visitors hooked throughout the spatial dialogue.

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French Architect Cyril Lancelin has worked on these lines in his disruptive yet enchanting popular designs like House ‘cabins,’ ‘Green Chapel,’ House ‘cylinder,’ and many other art installations. 

4. Think In Multiple Planes

‘There are 360 degrees, why stick to one?’ – Zaha Hadid.

Outgrow simple geometry and explore the cartesian coordinate system. Technology-driven futuristic parametric designs that simultaneously touch upon different planes and angles challenge the average human perception.

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Sensuously fluid and gripping, these dynamic designs by Zaha Hadid Architects offer a unique experience. 

5. Think Flexibility

‘Of all the lessons most relevant to architecture today, Japanese flexibility is the greatest’ – Stephen Gardiner. 

Sitting in the list of top ten populous countries and having almost 70% of the landmass unsuitable for habitation, the Japanese have long since treaded in minimalistic, multi-functional, flexible spaces.

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Living spaces can dynamically transform for different uses with the use of sliding and demountable screens. This tendency of imbued temporal meanings extends in the public realm where streets can switch from being busy shopping corridors to accommodating religious processions at short notice. 

6. Think Change

‘Change is the only constant’ – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher.

Breaking away from a rigid relationship between the building and the surrounding landscape, rotating houses have integrated engineering and technology to enable movement for the ever-changing dynamic field of vision.

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Everingham Rotating House can turn 360 degrees to offer splendid views of the green pastures and the river nearby.

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Suite Vollard is the world’s first fully rotational residential building where the apartment core rotates around a static core that contains services and utilities.

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Created explicitly for sensitive sites, Villa Hush Hush becomes one with the landscape to push a support column up to 130 feet for panoramic views at the touch of a button.

7. Think Sustainability 

‘Architects have to become designers of ecosystems. Not just designers of beautiful facades or beautiful sculptures, but systems of economy and ecology, where we channel the flow not only of the people but also the flow of resources through our cities and buildings.’ – Bjarke Ingels. 

Kinetic facades and rotating smart homes follow the sun’s arc to maximize energy gain.

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The curtain-like facade of bronze tubes in the Bund Finance Center by Foster + Partners is akin to a ‘moving veil’ that can produce varying visual effects in addition to optimum solar shading.

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SDU Kolding campus has an integrated facade fitted with dynamic solar shading, which takes into account the specific climatic conditions and user patterns.

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The heliotrope house, the world’s first solar-positive home, designed by Architect Ralph Disch, has a central pole supporting the home, with the 180-degree rotation of the mobile volume alongside other sustainable features. 

8. Customise Solutions

‘When you have a big, ugly problem, there’s never going to be a neat, elegant solution that is totally painless or without a cost.’ – Henry Paulson. 

While designing rotating and partially rotating facades, systems, and structures, it is essential to respond to the requirements by customizing solutions.

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For example, the Sharifa-Ha House’s shape-shifting facade in Tehran became a reality because of the made-to-order structural system pre-fabricated in Germany and details like foldable handrails, refining the edges of the swiveling rooms while also accounting for possible structural deformations in load calculations.

9. Imagine With Pre-Fab 

‘As an architect, you design for the present, with the awareness of the past, for a future that is essentially unknown.’ – Norman Foster. 

As there is no static ideal condition, design and construction need to adapt to dynamically evolving needs consistently.

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Pre-fabricated deployable and portable structures might be the answer to our fickle minds and their imagination.

10. Think Out Of The Box 

‘But out of limitations comes creativity.’ – Debbie Allen. 

To be a game-changer or a history maker, one must unabashedly think revolutionary ideas.

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Architect David Fischer has proposed one such idea of dynamic design of a perpetually revolving 80-floor skyscraper fitted with solar panels, wind turbines, and individual rotating floors. Touted to have used the ‘image of time’ as the fourth dimension and promised to be an architectural marvel of Dubai, the actualization of the project is eagerly awaited.

Equipped with all these tips, what else could one wait for? Get down and begin sketching, modeling, and conceptualizing your next big idea! 

Author

Nandita is a budding Architect. Curious by nature, she constantly seeks to experiment and express herself through various creative avenues. She is a bit of a geek who loves her books, fiction and non-fiction. Immensely passionate about art, history, heritage and urban design, she loves travelling to culture-rich places.

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