Video: Dynamic architecture

posted at 2:12 pm on May 31, 2007 by Allahpundit

Rejoice at the slow news day, my friends, for it lets me bring you oddball crap like this. It’s the latest architectural innovation on tap for Dubai, whose Burj al-Arab hotel came in third place in the online poll of new wonders of the world. The buildings are wind-powered so they’re dirt cheap to run and the floors are all prefab so they’re dirt cheap to construct. Soon enough they’ll be mentioned in a Goracle speech, where he’ll note with a mix of sadness and alarm that our commitment to conservation trails that of the Middle East.

(Incidentally, if you’ve never visited Burj al-Arab’s website, take some time.)

Exit question:

Each individual floor is able to rotate slowly, based on commands issued by the owners of condos or apartments on that floor.

Assuming there’s more than one apartment on each floor, who gets to decide?

Click the image to watch.

Update: See-Dub comments, “It looks like a giant burqa!”

da.jpg


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Assuming there’s more than one apartment on each floor, who gets to decide?

The one with the AK-47.

RedWinged Blackbird on May 31, 2007 at 2:23 PM

I think we should break our dependence on foreign oil just so those oil sheiks in Dubai will be forced to stop building unnecessarily cool things like indoor ski mountains and rotating apartment buildings.

Does it bother anyone else that the only Modern Wonders of the World that the US got on the list were completed in 1931 (Empire State Building) and 1937 (Golden Gate Bridge)?

Sure, we were the only country to have two solid entries on the list (France is a close second with the Eiffel Tower and the Chunnel, but they’re only part owner of the Chunnel, so we win). Still, I’d like to think our creative energies and technical capabilities now are at least somewhat on par with our abilities in the 30s.

JadeNYU on May 31, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Still, I’d like to think our creative energies and technical capabilities now are at least somewhat on par with our abilities in the 30s.

What? Were you not enthralled by the coffe table computer?

Matticus Finch on May 31, 2007 at 2:28 PM

Sorta made me seasick watching it.

vcferlita on May 31, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Good question Allah. The buildings I have worked in and for usually have a stringent set of condo rules voted on at the monthly meetings. Be forwarned the meetings can turn ugly and personal. I left the South Florida condo construction trade behind to pursue the conventional single family market, which is in my opinion much better.

sonnyspats1 on May 31, 2007 at 2:32 PM

That’s pretty cool, I like advanced architecture. I’m not smart enough to understand what goes into it, but I appreciate it.

Bad Candy on May 31, 2007 at 2:35 PM

At prayer time I’d always make Abdul’s apartment face south. Because he’s a heretic.

BelchSpeak on May 31, 2007 at 2:36 PM

The CN tower in Toronto rotates and it has a restaurant there.
It does male you slightly nauseated.

Kini on May 31, 2007 at 2:38 PM

BelchSpeak on May 31, 2007 at 2:36 PM

You just brightened my entire day with that.

It also brings up an interesting questions, will they stop the spinning during prayer times so that people can be absolutely positive that they are facing Mecca? I realize that it’s a very slow spin. Still, if you are extremely devout and your prayers take a while, you can start out facing Mecca and end up facing Tel Aviv *gasp*.

JadeNYU on May 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM

Not for nothining, but we need a major overhaul of our infrastructure. These guys in Dubai they’ve had nothing, so they get to start with the latest and greatest. We’ve got to squeeze in the new stuff with what we’ve got now. And how big is Dubai anyway?

Look at the WTC fiasco. A perfect opportunity to do something great, becomes a fizzle.

I’d love to see us move to mag-lev trains, and expand out our road network. But there are too many lawyers and envrio-wackos screwing things up. That’s another thing they don’t have to worry about in Dubai.

Iblis on May 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM

Iblis on May 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM

True. I made the mistake of blaming our ingenuity, creativity & ability. In reality, we’ve still got all those things (in spite of the efforts of the Teacher’s Union). Our main problem is that we’ve developed a lot of graft (insane law suits, impossible to get building permits, labyrinthine land-use laws, endless lawsuits from enviro-crazies, etc), which may have started out with a good purpose (or at least a good intent) but are now out of control.

JadeNYU on May 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM

A little disconcerting that each floor is made up of individual pie slices, attached to the center pole. I wonder how much weight any one slice will hold?

Tanya on May 31, 2007 at 2:52 PM

Scenario:

Someone will find the motion nausous and make a health complaint. Human Resources (or ACLU) will decide this is some kind of health or civil right violation and the movement of that particular floor will no longer be allowed.

Lawrence on May 31, 2007 at 2:52 PM

I meant ‘nauseous’.

Lawrence on May 31, 2007 at 2:53 PM

At rest, it looks like a giant burqa!

see-dubya on May 31, 2007 at 2:56 PM

I wonder how fast those floors would spin given a little nudge by a 747.

RedWinged Blackbird on May 31, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Of course no one is threatening to fly airliners into the cool rotating towers.

Griz on May 31, 2007 at 3:02 PM

I think we should break our dependence on foreign oil just so those oil sheiks in Dubai will be forced to stop building unnecessarily cool things like indoor ski mountains and rotating apartment buildings.

They’re building up Dubai as a hedge against that very day. Want to have a tourist economy when it’s all over.

TexasDan on May 31, 2007 at 3:06 PM

Iblis on May 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM

Iblis, do you know your screen name means “Satan” in Indoneisan?

And sorry in advance for outing you if that was a secret.

TexasDan on May 31, 2007 at 3:08 PM

Must be some hell of bearings supporting those rotating segments. I wonder how they’re doing that. So they turn by wind power? And the turning accomplishes what exactly–they get the view they want when they want it? I hope the turbines are also doing something useful, like generating electricity. If not, it ends up being more gimmicky than green, imho.

smellthecoffee on May 31, 2007 at 3:08 PM

Holiday Inn near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore has a restaurant on the top floor that takes an hour or so to make a complete circuit. It’s been there 30 years or more, so we’re not as behind the curve as some of you thought.

Retread on May 31, 2007 at 3:11 PM

Assuming there’s more than one apartment on each floor, who gets to decide?

I suspect that assumption might be wrong. I’ll bet the apartments are designed for the ultra-rich, with price and square footage to match.

calbear on May 31, 2007 at 3:14 PM

IN the “Modern Wonders of the World” category, I’m thinking the Great Wall of America would be a nice addition, right along the US border with Mexico.

BNCurtis on May 31, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Many questions answered by the article in the wsj:

TexasDan on May 31, 2007 at 3:17 PM

Looks like a giant “Sit n’Spin”.

kiakjones on May 31, 2007 at 3:24 PM

looks like someone has too much time on their hands.

TexasDan on May 31, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Iblis, do you know your screen name means “Satan” in Indoneisan?

Yes. Arabic as well. There is an Allah, so there is an Iblis. Just so. No secret.

Allah-”Look Ib, I need you to run a new spot called Hell for me. You’ll love it, great warm weather, interesting people, you can do whatever you want. It’ll be great, trust me.”
Iblis-”Sure thing MoonGod. Sounds good.”

Iblis on May 31, 2007 at 3:50 PM

the floors are all prefab so they’re dirt cheap to construct

Probably as compared to the space shuttle. I see a lot of warped/curved surfaces. Curves are not cheap. Standard building materials are planar.

80 people on site verses 2000? That doesn’t mean 1920 jobs are eliminated. That means 1920 jobs are at the various factories creating the prefabricated pieces. It’s a zero sum equation.

This concept of moving buildings has been around for a long time. The problem is that moving parts will eventually break down.

It’s hard to beat bricks/mortar and column/beam orthagonal construction for both cost and volume. In 25 years, those buildings will look as weird and dated as “The Future Of Tomorrow” stuff from the 1950′s. It has an aesthetic expiration date.

Also, “Green Technology” like wind turbines and solar panels typically have a huge initial purchase cost with a painfully long pay-back. Sure it makes you feel good to be eco-friendly, but your a$$ still aches from the price tag.

natesnake on May 31, 2007 at 4:10 PM

The writers of “The Jetsons” were doin’ this back in the 60′s. Their housing complex also raised up or lowered down depending on the weather. Oh, and it also had a dogwalk!

Tony737 on May 31, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Sure, their building rotate with the changing moods of the most pissed-off tenant…but do they have self-cleaning kitty-litter boxes and humping robots?

I THINK NOT!

robblefarian on May 31, 2007 at 4:29 PM

The Dubai Jumeirah hotel is certainly an amazing structure. I believe it is also the largest hotel in the world by physical volume. I notice that on the website the word decadent is employed repeatedly. Of course, Dubai is the most westernized Arab city in the world, so no surprise.

The Holiday Inn in Hollywood has had a rotating restaurant on top for well over 40 years, and I would be shocked to find out it was the first, so rotating building parts are not new. EVERY floor rotating, that’s new. And if each floor is an independent dwelling owned by one family, why bother, other than for the novelty?

Freelancer on May 31, 2007 at 4:34 PM

When Le Corbusier said “The house is a machine for living,” I don’t think this is what he had in mind.

Archi-stars of the past 100 years have debated (and almost unanimously concluded) that stationary structures are at the heart of good design, and that moving structures are a short-cut.

I too think this design to be tacky. But then again, architecture is for the people, and the people will decide what is good design.

natesnake on May 31, 2007 at 4:42 PM

other than for the novelty

Precisely.

natesnake on May 31, 2007 at 4:44 PM

With the speed of rotation and the Also sprach Zarathustra theme, it makes me wonder if people are supposed to walk on the outside walls like in the movie 2001.

eeyore on May 31, 2007 at 5:32 PM

My wonder is whether or not you’d be able to feel the thing spinning as you were inside it. If so, Kini does make a good point.

I suspect that assumption might be wrong. I’ll bet the apartments are designed for the ultra-rich, with price and square footage to match.

calbear on May 31, 2007 at 3:14 PM

In the video they showed how they attached each segment to the building. The walls of each segment were clear, and it looked like they were each supposed to be single tenant apartments.

Wolfman on May 31, 2007 at 5:41 PM

I think we should break our dependence on foreign oil just so those oil sheiks in Dubai will be forced to stop building unnecessarily cool things like indoor ski mountains and rotating apartment buildings.

Does it bother anyone else that the only Modern Wonders of the World that the US got on the list were completed in 1931 (Empire State Building) and 1937 (Golden Gate Bridge)?

Sure, we were the only country to have two solid entries on the list (France is a close second with the Eiffel Tower and the Chunnel, but they’re only part owner of the Chunnel, so we win). Still, I’d like to think our creative energies and technical capabilities now are at least somewhat on par with our abilities in the 30s.

JadeNYU on May 31, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Their not building them, they are way too backwards for that. They are paying Westerners (mostly) to design and build it.

We need to cut taxes so we can build more. Oh and taking their oil fields as payment for 9/11 would help.

Tim Burton on May 31, 2007 at 6:12 PM

Their not building them, they are way too backwards for that. They are paying Westerners (mostly) to design and build it.

True, but very few people credit the builders for amazing monuments/buildings after they are done. Especially as more time passes.

JadeNYU on May 31, 2007 at 6:52 PM

True, but very few people credit the builders for amazing monuments/buildings after they are done. Especially as more time passes.

Well I am. Their Palm & World Islands are amazing feats of engineering. Its a shame that we’ve seemed to have lost our vision-thing. Hell we’re not even doing much to go to the moon again. Like I said before the eco-weenies and their buddies make having a vision a massive hassel.
Just imagine if Robert Moses tried to do today what he did last century. That guy invented Emminent Domain.

Iblis on May 31, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Are you blaming 9/11 on Dubai now?

Truther.

JaHerer22 on May 31, 2007 at 7:13 PM

How will these buildings handle hurricanes or tornadoes?

hadsil on May 31, 2007 at 7:49 PM

I wonder if they provide seat belts. And I thought rooms spung only when I was hang over.

KCtheKat on May 31, 2007 at 10:23 PM

Islam: giving “sit on it and rotate” a whole new meaning.

profitsbeard on May 31, 2007 at 11:37 PM

One voltage surge and the vomit stars flying.

Captain Weenie on May 31, 2007 at 11:48 PM

“Starts” flying. (One misspell and the zinger is ruined.)

Captain Weenie on May 31, 2007 at 11:50 PM

Rule of engineering: If it moves, it breaks!

Will this have a landing strip for Muslim pilots on top or will the builiding be drive-through?

Doesn’t Michelin tires already own the copyright on this design?

Are there separate floors for all the 9 year old brides?

Mojave Mark on June 1, 2007 at 12:39 AM

Mojave Mark on June 1, 2007 at 12:39 AM

Some many one liners. Cannot…compute…

Nonfactor on June 1, 2007 at 2:11 AM

I’m emulating Captain Weenie. So*

(And when I read that “vomit stars” I literally pictured stars throwing up in the sky).

Nonfactor on June 1, 2007 at 2:11 AM

That building would make a cool setting for a James Bond chase scene.

jdpaz on June 1, 2007 at 2:36 PM