Kinetic Architecture lies in creating spaces and objects that can physically re-configure themselves to meet changing needs, whereby an adaptable architecture is formed. At this intersection, there exists an unexplored physical architecture tuned to address today’s dynamic, flexible and constantly changing needs. The kinetic design depends on motion for its effects (Zadinac, 2009).

“The speed of change makes you wonder what will become of architecture.” – Tadao Ando

Kinetic architecture is an evolving concept in the field of architecture in which buildings are designed in which parts of the structure are designed to move, without reducing overall structural integrity. The motion of the building is used to enhance the aesthetic qualities effectively, respond to environmental conditions efficiently and to perform functions that would be impossible for a static structure.

Conceptual Kinetic Architecture Projects- Image 1. AL-BAGH TOWER

In recent ages, the interest in interactive, responsive, and intelligent architecture became more vital in the 1960s and 1970s. This interest is caused by the development of the computer science field and building technology which converted architecture from a static form to a more kinetic and dynamic form. The development of kinetic architecture developed during the late 20th century due to the tremendous development in the field of mechanics, robotics and electronics which are combined with architecture to give an effective solution for the problems arising in day to day life.

Here are some of the unique and innovative conceptual kinetic projects that did not see the light of the sun,

1. Tornado Proof House| 10 Design 

This Tornado proof house is a conceptually designed kinetic project which is intended to be a tornado and flood-proof for the American mid-west. A minimal series of hydraulic mechanisms are used to raise the unit upwards and downwards. When a storm approaches, the installed sensors in the house activate the hydraulic arms and lower the house into the ground and the roof is sealed with waterproof doors. By raising the level of the projection of the house, allows cross ventilation and daylight which is a major necessity in underground houses. This helps in reducing the probability of expensive reconstruction efforts and also save lives at the same time.

This project initially started to redesign the trailer park and ended up in giving a new solution for the tornado affected zones with an effective and efficient suburban concept. The design was influenced by the kinetic ideas found in garage doors, portable campers and sailboat hulls. The major concept of this house is that it satisfies the survival mentality of a turtle. A series of simple yet sequenced hydraulic levers are used to push the home in and out of the ground and wrap the outer layer in response to the external stimulations detected.

2. D*Dynamic|The D*Haus Company

This house is designed for the region which has harsh climatic extremes that benefits in all aspects. It can respond dynamically to its environment by controlling the adaptation to seasonal and meteorological conditions. The house adapts itself internally providing a good habitual environment with changing environmental conditions from winter to summer and day to night as well. One prominent feature of this design is the thick external walls unfold into internal walls allowing glass internal walls to become facades, doors become as windows and vice versa

During cold winters, the house is enclosed in a square form, with small windows and high thermal mass. As the season changes, the climate warms and the house unfolds just like a flower allowing light and air to penetrate across the spaces, simultaneously offering a full panoramic view of the surroundings. This house folds itself like a Rubik’s cube, the internal walls become external, the doors become windows and vice versa.

The house is also a product of an applied mathematical sequence. Being using one set of materials, the house produces less waste during the manufacturing process and also from a mass-production point of view. It helps in saving manpower, time and also materials used. Considering various factors such as micro and macro climatic variations, solar radiations and more environmental factors this house is self-adaptable which paves the way for a sustainable way of living.


3. Dynamic Seismic Hotel| Margot Krasojevic Architecture

This kinetic proposal is based on the seismic activities observed around Italy. This project has a distinct program which involves the effects of earthquakes, tremors and movement in the immediate environment and the building responds to the movement respectively using various design simulation used in the design process.

The base plan is divided into three separate major elements that move apart and away if any movement on the base ground is sensed by the seismometers fixed. A series of parallelograms acts as seismic isolators. They are also partly exposed foundations made of stacked rubber and lead plates. These elements are so light which helps to ride out the tremor whilst reducing the kinetic energy produced as well. Small ideas like water tray reverberations are used as both landscape features and also an element for detecting early tremors. The building components are made up of lightweight aluminum frames, annealed laminated glass panels and recycled plastic boards which are very strong, durable and light- making it easier to drift when required.

4. Wind Shaped Pavilion| Michael Jantzen

The wind-shaped pavilion design proposal is a huge fabric structure that can be used as both public and private pavilions. As a fabric structure, its lightweight feature permits itself to move along with the wind slowly and randomly rotates each of the six segments around a central open support frame. This process continuously changes the shape of the pavilion and also it generates electricity from its constant movement which is used for after sunset lighting up. The core shape of the structure is symmetrical. The wind passing through the structure alters its shape randomly which has very little chance to revive its original symmetry.

5. Moving Sail Bridge Concept| Margot Krasojevic Architecture

This project is proposed for the city of ordos in Mongolia. This bridge is a unique and impressive bit of architecture designed for the Wulanmulun River. The core concept of the bridge is to satisfy the needs of the users which can be moved to the desired place along the waterbody by rowing or by sailing. The bridge’s expandable walkways and carbon fibre triple make it look like extra-terrestrial. The outer layer of the bridge is lined with solar panels, which helps to generate its own power for mobilization.

Various innovative ideas including drone-flying houses, residential projects made up of malleable skin and also concepts of a self-repairing house. All these conceptual projects whether it comes in light or not, one thing is very certain the future architecture of our world is not static. After all, the kinetic architecture will be the future indeed.

Rose Christina Jeyaseelan

Rose Christina Jeyaseelan,24-year-old architect, also a sustainability aficionado. Architecture for her is a journey through darkness searching for light. Personally, she loves to travel, sketch and explore the unexplored and she has a huge obsession over northern lights. Her interest in books have led the way to develop passion for writing as well. Here in RTF, she wishes to curate her perspective and chasmic thoughts on architecture and design.

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