Rotating tower slated for Dubai.
David Fisher Rotating tower slated for Dubai.

It happened on a day when Italian–Israeli architect David Fisher took in the sweeping views of New York City from the Olympic Tower in Midtown. There, he could view the East and Hudson rivers, when inspiration hit: What if everyone in the building could enjoy the same views, no matter what side of the building they were on?

Fisher hoped to answer that question when he unveiled his plans for a new skyscraper in Dubai: an 80-story rotating tower, in which every floor would move on the building’s axis, affording views all around.

The continuously moving building would rotate a full 360 degrees every 90 minutes, a range of motion gradual enough so as not to be readily detected by residents. Wind turbines positioned horizontally between each floor are designed to generate enough electricity to power both the skyscraper’s rotations and the residents’ electrical needs.

Plans to go forward with this leap in architecture stalled after the financial crisis in 2008, but Dynamic Architecture, the team behind the tower, is trying to breathe new life into the project, which includes prefabricated units.

It’s an ambitious feat, and whether the building comes to fruition remains to be seen. But it’s a fresh spin on the traditional skyscraper that could push design to new—but not dizzying—heights.