Plans unveiled for shape-shifting skyscraper

AMBITIOUS plans to build a revolutionary 420m shape-shifting skyscraper in Dubai have been unveiled by architects.

Each floor of the tower would rotate independently, architects claim, creating an ever-shifting shape.

The 80-storey Dynamic Tower, described as the “world’s first building in motion”, will also be the first skyscraper constructed from prefabricated units, according to New York-based architect David Fisher’s Dynamic Group.

Each floor would be capable of rotating independently, powered by wind turbines fitted between each floor.

“You can adjust the shape the way you like every given moment,” Fisher said. “It’s not a piece of architecture somebody designed today and that’s it. It remains forever. It’s designed by life, shaped by time.”

Apartments will sell for around $3,000 (€1,926) per square foot, making each unit range in price from about $4 million (€2.5m) to about $40m (€25.6m). Work on the tower is due to be completed by 2010.

Fisher said plans to build a second rotating skyscraper in Moscow were at an advanced stage and that the group intended to build a third tower in New York. He said developers and public officials in Canada, Europe and South Korea had also expressed interest in the project.

But some have expressed scepticism. Fisher has never built a skyscraper before. He says he has teamed up with reputable architects and engineers in the United Kingdom and India.

Although he has received a development licence for construction in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, he has not disclosed the site of the building. The Moscow mayor’s office said it was looking into the project and a decision had not been made.

Fisher has called prefabricated construction techniques the “future of architecture” and says they will radically transform 4,000-year-old “brick-on-brick” building methods.

By using pre-constructed parts, Fisher said, each storey could be built in just seven days, resulting in environmentally cleaner building methods.

He said just 600 people on an assembly site and 80 technicians on the construction site would be needed to build the tower, compared with around 2,000 workers for a traditional project of a comparable scale.

“It is unbelievable that real estate and construction, which is the leading sector of the world economy, is also the most primitive,” Fisher says on Dynamic’s website.

“Most workers throughout the world still regularly use trowels, first used by the Egyptians and then by the Romans.”


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