Dubai’s record-breaking skyline is the stuff of imagination bolstered by immense wealth, a powerful combination that mostly results in epic fail architecture. A new rotating skyscraper is in planning stage, an investment in gimmickry over game-changing sustainability, moving this city a step closer to its looming 22nd Century reality as the world’s best bad building burial ground.
The rotating tower was originally presented in 2008, the project was put on hold when the emirate’s property market shrivelled in the aftermath of the global financial meltdown and Real Estate crash. But investment interest appears to be rising and the idea is back in play.
The building will be in perpetual motion, revolving 360 degrees every 90 minutes, each floor moving individually, creating the world’s first real estate development where apartments aren’t categorized by bespoke views.
Specially designed elevators will permit penthouse occupants to park their cars in their apartments. What’s the environmental impact of that?
Several roof-mounted wind turbines will power the building’s constant turning, generating electricity for the structure’s movement and domestic power needs. Wind turbines in an urban setting are rife with problems: noise, birdkills, erratic wind patterns in Dubai’s ever-changing cityscape, to name a few.
No specifications have been released (or likely developed) to address how moving parts will be maintained in the perpetually kinetic structure, nor how the separate external components will grapple with Dubai sandstorms and heat expansion.
Watch a video of what the building will be like here.
According to press estimates, the tower will cost over $540 million, although official details including cost, location and completion date have not been confirmed.
David Fisher, founder and chairman of Dynamic Architecture Group, has never built a skyscraper, yet he plans to replicate similar towers in Moscow, Paris, London and New York. “I did not design skyscrapers, but I feel ready to do so,” Fisher said in an interview with Associated Press. “You can build anything.”
That quote conjures up the classic, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” often credited to American showman P.T. Barnum, but more likely spoken by a guy named David Hannum, who was referring to both Barnum and those flocking to his circus.
In this case, the quote gets triple play as it applies to Fisher, the Dubai municipal building department, and the investors who will buy property in his twirling tower.
It’s a “phallacy” that soaring height makes for better buildings. Add “rotation” to the mix of structural features and this tower becomes fodder for cringe-worthy jokes. This is not a building, it’s an 80 story-high vibrator.
Read more on greening buildings and Dubai:
A Green Survey of Dubai and United Arab Emerites
Dubai’s twirling tower
Rotating Wind Powered Apartment Skyscraper
Dubai plans ‘moving’ skyscraper
US Green Building Council
USEPA guidelines for Green Building