lying houses, swirling towers, cities on wheels, gravity-defying structures, ever-evolving facades, instant construction…..

Straight out of science-fiction and fantasy, Dynamic Architecture is attempting to translate man’s wildest dreams into reality. The field has been garnering worldwide interest weaving through disciplines of design, architecture, engineering, and technology. Dynamic Architecture aims for three significant innovations: changing and moving shapes of structures, rapid building with pre-fabricated industrial units, and inimitable prowess in self-production of clean energy. 

10 Examples of dynamic architecture - Sheet1
Dynamic Architecture ©
10 Examples of dynamic architecture - Sheet2
Dynamic Architecture ©
10 Examples of dynamic architecture - Sheet3
Dynamic Architecture ©

 Let us look at ten examples of experiments in Dynamic Architecture: 

1. Da Vinci Tower, Dubai: The 420-meter high 80-floor skyscraper designed by architect David Fischer is proposed to have solar panels, wind turbines, and individual rotating floors. With original floors rotating around 20 feet per minute and completing a full rotation in 90 minutes, the occupants can enjoy sweeping views of the sea, desert, and the city’s glorious skyline. The ever-changing fluid external structure owing to the perpetual revolutions of individual floors is touted to be the new eye-catching architectural marvel for Dubai. 

Da Vinci Tower - Sheet1
Da Vinci Tower ©
Da Vinci Tower - Sheet2
Da Vinci Tower © 

2. Suite Vollard, Curitiba, Brazil: Bruno de Franco and David Fischer designed the world’s first fully rotational residential building in 2001. The movable apartment core rotates around a static core that contains building services and utilities. With one rotation taking a full hour, each apartment can rotate individually. Each of these one-of-a-kind apartment units sold for approximately $US 300,000.00. 

Suite Vollard
Suite Vollard ©

3. Sharifa-Ha House, Tehran: The swiveling rooms allow for a shape-shifting facade to adapt to Iran’s fluctuating temperatures or suit the floor plan’s functional requirement. The openness/closure is rooted in the traditional Iranian wisdom of flexibility of spaces for harsh summers and winters. The customized structural system pre-fabricated in Germany uses simple mechanisms to facilitate the movement. Designing foldable handrails, refining the edges of the volume, accounting for possible structural deformations in load calculations, and other decisions eventually added to making this house a reality. 

Sharifa-Ha House - Sheet1
Sharifa-ha House  ©
Sharifa-Ha House - Sheet2
Sharifa-ha House ©

4. Heliotrope house: Architect Ralph Disch has designed the world’s first energy-positive solar home. With a central pole supporting the home, the 180-degree rotation of the mobile volume follows the sun’s movement. The cylindrical building has a fully glazed front and heavily insulated rear. Roof-mounted solar panels, triple pane windows, solar thermal pipes, and other sustainable measures, along with the kinetics, make up this remarkable and innovative house. 

Heliotrope house
Image 9 – Heliotrope House ©

5. Villa Girasole (meaning sunflower), Verona, Italy: Designed by a navy engineer, Angelo Invernizzi, the villa progressively rotates to follow the sun’s movement during the day. Made up of 2 parts: a 44-meter diameter circular base and a rotational block with two pavements on the “L” shape at their superior part, the central uniting part is a pivoting element. An intelligent system of 3 circular rails enables movement powered by two diesel motors at a speed of 4mm per sec, allowing a complete rotation in 9hrs and 20 minutes. In keeping with the project’s experimental nature, a considerable amount of adaptation and refinement accompanied the complicated and expensive construction techniques. 

Villa Girasole - SHeet1
Villa Girasole ©
Villa Girasole - SHeet2
Villa Girasole ©

6. Villa Hush Hush: London-based Steven Chilton of Marks Barfield Architects has developed an innovative high-end residence. Created explicitly for sensitive sites and offering sensational views, the home becomes one with the landscape. With the touch of a button, a lifting mechanism pushes a support column up to 130 feet into the air, above the treetops for spectacular panoramic views. The design centered on the relationship between the villa, the viewer, and its environment is unique and well-received. 

Villa Hush Hush - Sheet1
Villa Hush Hush ©
Villa Hush Hush - Sheet2
Villa Hush Hush ©

7. Kuggen Building, Lindholmsplatsen: The multi-hued circular building features a dramatic facade shaped like a cog wheel or the saw-tooth profile of a leaf. The building’s volume increases from the bottom with each successive floor, 1.5 meters larger in circumference. So, the upper floors provide shade for the lower floors naturally. Since the top floor lacks shade, a rotating sunscreen installed on a metal track jutting from the facade keeps it cool and shaded. Additionally, photovoltaics are integrated into the sunscreen to absorb the daylight and generate electricity for the building’s use. 

Kuggen Building, Lindholmsplatsen - Sheet1
Kuggen Building ©
Kuggen Building, Lindholmsplatsen - Sheet2
Kuggen Building ©

8. Principality Stadium, Cardiff: Formerly known as the Millenium stadium, it is the second-largest stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof. With over 200,000 nuts and bolts used in the roof, it takes 20 mins for the roof to open. When the roof is closed, it becomes an arena for music concerts. The total area of the perimeter canopy ring is 27,000m². The moving and fixed parts of the roof sections are acoustically treated, and winch cables are deployed for movement along rails. 

Principality Stadium - Sheet1
Principality Stadium ©
Principality Stadium - Sheet2
Principality Stadium ©

9. Seattle Space needle: Loupe, a floor at 500 ft from the ground, boasts of the world’s only rotating glass floor, with ten structural layers plus a scuff-proof aesthetic layer. The mechanics of the rotating glass floor include 12 motors and 48 rollers. In either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, the floor can complete a rotation in a range from a quick twenty to a glacial ninety minutes. The addition of glass walls and glass benches along with the glass floor gives one the illusion of floating above the city.

Seattle Space needle
Image 18 – Seattle Space Needle ©

10. Aldar Central Market, Abu Dhabi: Foster + Partners have designed this market as a modern interpretation of the ‘souk,’ traditional Arab market. By fusing the local vernacular traditions with global aspirations, the 5,00,000 sq.m design is a microcosmic city with markets, shops, offices, apartments, and hotels. Moving roof panels that slid into place and internal sliding wall panels help seal the indoors from scorching outdoor heat and maximize the potential for natural ventilation. 

Aldar Central Market - Sheet1
Aldar Central Market ©
Aldar Central Market - Sheet2
Aldar Central Market ©

 Efficient, smart, and sustainable, Dynamic Architecture seems to be the future! Are we all pumped to jump into the bandwagon to stretch the imagination and conceive jaw-dropping unbelievable architectural designs? Not even the sky’s the limit. 


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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