Monday, July 7, 2008

Architecture off the deep end?

Back on my college newspaper, we would publish a huge April Fools issue each year. One Spring, we included a front page story about the nearby C&S Tower (since demolished) in downtown Atlanta, and how it would be soon rotating.

This building was a 20-ish story, hideous round trash can of a thing, and sat on a small pedestal. The article claimed that it was built to rotate, but after the owners saw the first month's electricity bill, they quickly turned it off. Now, the building was rotated 1-1/4 turns one Sunday each year, to give workers a new view out of their windows. More absurd was the note that the bank picked the actual Sunday each year in a manner not unlike how Easter is determined, basing the date on the equinox and phases of the moon.

Amazingly, perhaps a hundred sorry souls believed this, and got up very early the next Sunday to stand on a deserted streetcorner in downtown and watch nothing happen.

I was reminded of all this collegiate nonsense when I saw the recent release for a pair of turning towers that are scheduled to be built in Dubai in Moscow. Now, not much surprises me about Dubai anymore, and I probably should have expected this. I love good (and groundbreaking) architecture as much as the next guy, but I wonder if this is going overboard. Will this design become the new rage for condos, hotels and offices? I hope not.

At least these folks have jumped on the green bandwagon, and are promising that there will be wind turbines between each floor. So the building will generate its own electricity, presumably for moving its individual floorplates—avoiding that messy hassle of showing the first month's scary electricity bill to the boss.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon ... this crossed my desk today:

Istanbul, Turkey -- July 7, 2008 -- The Marmara Antalya -- the world's first and only revolving hotel -- offers the best view in the house from every room in its revolving building. Perched on the majestic Falez Cliffs in Turkey's southern coast, every room of the resort's 24-room revolving loft offers ever-changing 360-degree panoramic views of the turquoise-blue Mediterranean, the Antalyan coastline and the snow-capped Taurus Mountains.

The revolving loft was designed using shipbuilding specifications. It sits atop a special pool system where water drives the mechanisms that are set to turn the building 360-degrees every seven hours-- although it is capable of completing a revolution every three hours. The innovative design earned The Marmara Antalya a "Best Hotel Architecture" nomination from the prestigious Prix Villegiature Awards, which honor the best hotels in Europe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In Trinidad the Crowne Plaza Hotel has a revolving restaurant called 360 degrees!