When concrete can can-can

By Sergio González | 14:50
Dancing house in Prague

Fred and Ginger dancing buildings of Prague

Do you live in a square house? I do, and also 99% of people I guess. Square rooms, square doors, square walls and square everything. Some cool architects and designers think it’s high time for things to change. Going all straight and square up can make your life tighten too much so you’ll risk to miss many of its incredible shades and rhythms.

Gaudí started a new surrealistic relationship between buildings and shape that one hundred years later keeps attracting people from all over the world to see and study his creations and making many of them become gaudianos, Gaudi lovers.

New-flanged Aqua Skyscraper in Chicago has won several architect prizes in the last three years thanks to round terraces and balconies that leave the facade undulating as a gentle sea. They’re supposed to depict the Great Lakes soil but no one can deny its inspiration by Gaudi’s La Pedrera.

Many have tried to twist structures and challenge construction physics -if you visit Prague, don’t miss Fred and Ginger dancing to the rhythm composed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Ghery– but the very first spinning building which ever dared to defy rectitude was Suite Vollard, a modest 11 store prototype by Bruno de Franco, completed in Brazil in 2001.

We’d have to wait until 2005 for Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish architect known for his white organic bone-shape buildings, to step it up a notch when he created the Turning Torso for the Swedish city of Malmö, a 190 m colossus just opposite Denmark coast and impressive Öresund Bridge.

When you’re looking to buy or rent a flat, orientation it’s very important because sun rays not only cheer up and grow rooms more beautiful but also save lots of money in lighting and heating. Turning torso is built around a spine that allows each floor to rotate around, leaning towards the sun as it moves through the sky, just like sunflowers do. They are designed in autonomous pentagons, petals if you may, to ease motion and let wind run smooth around the skyscraper, without compromising its stability.

This bright beacon of Swedish modernity also fulfills another Scandinavian need and a must in every modern facility, ecology. It’s designed to have an eco-friendly structure and running but also the building tries to get everybody engaged; there are green protocols for downstairs office businesses as well as for the 147 apartments upstairs.

A gym, a spa and all sort of facilities including a floor for parties and -in attention to architect’s origins- a wine cellar at the basement, make Turning Torso able to drag tenants not only from Malmö but from other parts of Sweden and Denmark . Everybody wants to enjoy le joie de vivre that’s reigning the neighborhood growing around it. To cap it all? If you can afford to live on the upper floor, the amazing views over the Baltic include Copenhagen.

Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmö

Turning Torso spinning over Malmö

Dubai’s skyline has gone in a few years from a few shacks and ranches into a few shacks and a lot of amazing skyscrapers and leisure activities for millionaires or anyone who wants a bit of Arabian extreme luxury.

Among all these new Persian Gulf pearls, Infinity Tower sticks out as Torso’s elder sister. Almost twice as tall, Infinity follows and upscales the rotating trend offering a 90º living experience at the entrance of exclusive Dubai Marina. The views over the Palm artificial archipelago, the city and everything whithin 10 miles promise to be breathtaking –if finally they can overcome the many problems they’re facing-.

As always, competitiveness ends up in better and bigger and just around the corner, Dynamic Tower Dubai threatens to rotate Dubai’s skies at 420 m high. The first mega-skyscraper to be prefabricated –floors are build in factories, reducing costs and time drastically– will also be able to produce energy from its own motion. Currently, they’re also facing delays and problems related to soil integrity. When will we see Dubai’s skyline finally dancing? It will surely be a show worth seeing.

If everything goes along, we should be expecting some more Dynamic Towers, each with a unique design, for Paris, Chicago or Rio de Janeiro among other landmark cities of the world. Dynamic Architecture has many target cities that , according to them, deserve to show off  brand new 23th century skyscrapers.

Photo Credit: kevinpoh

Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström



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