7 Rotating Houses That Follow the Sun
Last updated October 5, 2016
There is a micro trend growing these days in housing, and it's not farmhouse style doors or granite countertops.
It's having your entire house rotate 360 degrees.
It's called Heliotrope house design, which is building houses that mimic that seasonal motion of flowers or plants. Basically, the houses move with the sun, much like a sunflower would.
While being incredibly cost prohibitive, Heliotrope house design does provide some practical value by rotating all day long: they're incredibly energy efficient. They take advantage of perpetual shade or sunshine, vastly lowering the cost of resources used to heat or cool the home.
Also, the views can be absolutely stunning, as you'll see in the examples below.
Here are some of the most interesting rotating houses and buildings that we could find.
1. Everingham Rotating House
A rotating house located in Australia that has a fixed porch and can do a full revolution in 30 minutes.
In the Australian countryside there sits an unsuspecting house that was way ahead of it's time. Over 60 years ago Buckminster Fuller built a rotating house that rotates 360 degrees to take advantage of the sunshine and shade during different seasons and parts of the day.
The backyard of the Everingham house. The back porch is fixed to the ground.
When the house was built, it was packaged into giant tubes and dropped via blimp to the Australian countryside.
2. Mt. Helix Rotating Home
A modern rotating home, similar in construction to Tony Stark's pad in Iron Man.
This is a fairly modern rotating home built by Al and Janet Johnstone, who now help others build rotating homes. This rotating home in Mesa, California is a modern marvel because it weighs 600,000 pounds, but only uses a 1.5 hp motor to turn it. Even the electric, gas and plumbing systems rotate on the house.
This video shows how they built the rotating house.
3. Massau Home in Wavre, Belgium
Massau rotating home located in Wavre, Belgium.
What makes this rotating home interesting is that it was built out of a need. The owner, François Massau built this home for his ailing wife could have sunshine at any time of the day and year. Now, this guy Massau was eccentric, always in legal battles, and died without a cent in 2002. But, he did leave behind a legacy in this rotating house, that rotates on a steel track.
The owners of the house use the position of the house like most of us use a thermostat: if the house is too warm, they position it in the shade. Too cool, and they move it to the sun.
4. Villa Girasole
Here's what is believed to be the oldest rotating house, the Villa Girasole in Italy. Girasole means "the sunflower" in Italian, and the house was made to follow the sun like a sunflower. The house follows along circular tracks and rotates at a speed of 4mm per second, and takes 9 hours and 20 minutes to rotate fully.
A construction shot of the Villa Girasole. Building began on the house in 1931.
These are the original floor plans to the Villa Girasole, drawn by Italian architect Angelo Invernizzi in 1929.
5. Architect Rolf Disch's Heliotrop House
The Heliotrope, an environmentally friendly rotating house that generates more energy than it uses.
This rotating house built by the architect Rolf Disch in Germany is notable because it was the first building in the world to capture more energy than it uses. In fact, the house captures anywhere from 4-6 times the amount of energy it uses.
The interior shot of Heliotrop house.
The specs and abilities of the house are absolutely incredible, but the gist is that the house rotates to capture the maximum amount of sun possible, which it then converts to energy. (The balcony railings are even used to heat water.)
6. Suite Vollard
Each floor of Suite Vollard rotates independently.
Suite Vollard in Brazil is the first ever rotating building, built in 2001. The Suite Vollard is an apartment complex, where the floors rotate in opposite directions. A 360-degree rotation takes 60 minutes.
7. Self-powered Rotating Tiny House
A home that even the kids can rotate.
Oregon architecture firm PATH has engineered a 144-square foot house that is able to rotate 359 degrees on it's axis. There are no motors though... you simply turn the house with your hands. Apparently it's so easy that a child can rotate the house if it wants to.
The house kit comes with solar panels, so the entire thing is completely off the grid.
Did this article make you manlier?
Join 100,000 monthly readers who get Gentlemint articles delivered to their inbox.