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Revolutionary Tower in Brazil 319

An anonymous reader writes "Have you ever thought about retiring in Brazil? If you have thought about doing so, this might be just the piece of real estate you were looking for. 'An unusual apartment building was inaugurated in Brazil, each of whose 11 storeys turns independently, giving lucky residents 360-degree views of the eco-friendly city of Curitiba.' Now, if they could only tilt it a little bit to look like Pisa's Tower..."
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Revolutionary Tower in Brazil

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  • All you need is a counter rotating bed, and it'd be the perfect bachelor pad!

    • Brings whole new meaning to the expression "Did you get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?"
    • That actually sounds like a good idea. Maybe they could have a whole section of the living space that stays fixed while the outer ring rotates.

      My first thought was they should make three identical buildings and fabricate a giant robot hand to solve the Towers of Hanoi problem.

      They should also put some things in there like prisms or compasses to make all of the rotation a lot more interesting.

  • by Code-Ex ( 655722 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:04AM (#11123120)
    You spin me right round, baby
    Right round like a record, baby
    Right round round round
    You spin me right round, baby
    Right round like a record, baby
    Right round round round
  • by Anonymous Coward
    will be remote-controlled
  • by amjith ( 775470 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:07AM (#11123130) Homepage
    Just imagine the electricity bill these guys have to pay every month. Assuming that the rotation is done by means of some electric motor. The electric motor itself is an amazing thing to begin with.
    • by PabloJones ( 456560 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:28AM (#11123197) Homepage
      My guess is that they have the electric motors on the outer edge of the place, not on the inside. It could come with two motors per floor at opposing points of the circle. Since the place probably doesn't rotate extremely fast, even at the highest setting, then the motors wouldn't need to drain a ton of power.

      This seems more or less to be a gimmick. I bet the people living there will only use their novelty spinning condos for a month or so, and then get sick of it and show it to people when they come to visit and whatnot. If you have an entire floor of a circular building, then you can walk around and get all the views you'd ever like. I think the nicest thing is the fact you can keep it in one spot for a month, and then when you get sick of the view out your bedroom/kitchen/living room window, you can rotate it 90 degrees and get a whole new view for another month.

      But is that feature really worth the extra price? And how likely is this thing to break down?
      • extra price? i realize $300k is a lot in Brazil, but in America for a condo anything like that in any urban area...that's ridiculously cheap.
      • Do I get a revolving balcony? Sounds like so much better place to sit with my laptop than the cramped $500,000 southern cali shack I'm in now.
      • by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @04:46AM (#11123543) Homepage Journal
        One word: Sunlight.

        From the pictures it appears there is one section that goes into another building or some kind of solid attachment. That's probably where you'll rotate your bedroom at night. During the day, you may want to rotate whatever room you're in so that it gets the most sunlight.
      • by DieNadel ( 550271 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @08:00AM (#11123903)
        The appartments rotate really, really slowly. I happen to live just a 5 minutes car drive of it and I can say that, besides looking a bit funky, it's been there for ages (it took several years for being finished), and it has become sort of a local joke.

        And yes, US$300k is A HUGE LOT OF MONEY here in Brazil. It's almost 900k reais, when our minimum wage is around R$300.
        • Yes, it's been a nice joke, everyone thought it was not for real. I've lived around there and I remember that it was under construction somewhere around 1992!

          One word: Sunlight.
          Yes, remember that some people, when the word Brazil comes up, think of sunshine. But... Curitiba is a place around 900 meters above sea, with a really bad climate, IMHO.

          Well, see for yourself (don't forget it's almost summer here) Forecast []

      • Think of it - you can have all windows facing sun if you wish. You start the day with the sun shining light beams on your face, gently waking you up. Then you brush your teeth and take a bath, while the apartment rotates so that your kitchen now faces the sun. You eat your breakfast. Then you go to your study and the sun still shines in your window. You go to another room to exercise and the sun still shines. You get the point. That alone can be worth the extra price - ask any real estate dealer about the p
    • The Seattle Space Needle uses a one-horsepower motor to rotate its restaraunt once per hour. It can be done easily.
    • If you've taken any physics course you should recognize that rotating a floor involves no actual work except the torque needed to start or stop rotation. Once it is rotating at the desired speed you just have to overcome whatever friction that would have been minimized by design.

      I think the more puzzling issue is plumbing. If you look closely at the photos of the control touchscreen and the tower viewed from outside you can see there is a significant fraction of each unit that is in a stationary part that
      • I think the more puzzling issue is plumbing. If you look closely at the photos of the control touchscreen and the tower viewed from outside you can see there is a significant fraction of each unit that is in a stationary part that might be 20% of the floor space (bottom left on the screen, not the 'spindle'). You could probably do all the plumbing (kitchen and bathroom) in that fraction.

        They actually make swivels that allow rotation of electrical, water, sewage, and even gas lines. Here is a paper talking

    • It doesn't have to be. Depends on how it's built. It could be like the locks at the Panama Canal, they take the power output of the family lawnmower to open and close. It looks like you aer just looking for something to bitch about. I could point out other things to bitch about, but this wouldn't be one of them.
  • Disorienting? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MmmDee ( 800731 )
    Seems like on some level, this would be extremely disorienting after a period of time. I'm sure the view is probably spectacular, but you'd probably find just one view you liked best and and be tempted to keep your "floor" stopped in that direction thus defeating the purpose of the rotation.
    • Re:Disorienting? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blankslate ( 748549 )
      except that you could have that one view for every room in the house ...
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:12AM (#11123140)
    It's only revolutionary if the space I purchase rotates counter to the other rings.
    • It's only revolutionary if the space I purchase rotates counter to the other rings.


      The owner may also change the direction and speed of the revolutions.
      So, you will be able to rotate counter so at least some of the rings.

      Regards, Ulli

  • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:12AM (#11123142) Homepage Journal
    I was wondering how I was going to screw in that lightbulb...
  • by Create an Account ( 841457 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:14AM (#11123148) thing you know, they turn the RPMs up to about 60 and you're stuck to the outside wall.
  • by tattoi.nobori ( 687297 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:15AM (#11123151)
    But what about folks on the bottom of the stack? $300k seems a bit steep for a remote-controlled, revolving street-level apartment. ^_^ "hey look honey, it's the gas station again! ...there's the liquor store... yep.. alright! gas station again!"
  • Darkology (Score:3, Funny)

    by Facekhan ( 445017 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:16AM (#11123162)
    I just want to live in a Darkology.
  • "revolting" restaurant.

    From the CN Tower and the Skylon at Niagara Falls to the Harbour Castle in Vancouver.

    Can anyone name a revolving restaurant that doesn't have reeally crappy, overpriced food?
  • Plumbing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cryogenix ( 811497 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:23AM (#11123180)
    How do they handle the air, water, and electrical I wonder? That has to be a bit of engineering in itself.
    • How do they handle the air, water, and electrical I wonder? That has to be a bit of engineering in itself.

      I'd assume all of those things are in a center "core" that doesn't rotate, so they're always at the same place relative to the rest of the building. It's all got to rotate ON something, and that's where the utilities are.
    • Re:Plumbing? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <> on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:41AM (#11123245) Homepage Journal
      why? you just make a torus-shaped water pipe near the axis, and cut it in half horizontally. the two halves can rotate independently without ever breaking a seal. then theres pipes going up/out from the top half and down/out from the bottom half. air is easier, less seals. electrical is trivial (*cough*brushes*cough*)
      • By the look of the photos, the layout is much the same as a revolving restaurant.

        The plumbing etc. is housed in the centre non-rotating core of the building; there is no need for fancy seals, because the pipes and fittings don't move. The windows and outside balcony are also fixed; the bit that rotates is the floor between the outer wall and the inner core.

        The rotating restaurant I visited turned quite slowly - around 2 RPM from memory. That's fast enough that you go around about three times during di
    • Re:Plumbing? RTFA! (Score:3, Informative)

      by mildness ( 579534 )
      Or at least look at the picures. A quick scan shows that the core does not spin [] solving plumbing and air issues.


  • Retiring? I'm moving there right away!!!
  • If the woman in the apartment across the street were to walk around naked, how fast would each level turn & focus on her?
  • from the article:
    At low speed, each floor takes an hour to revolve.

    Why would the slowest speed be 1 revolution every hour?
    I would think that the most natural speed would be 1 revolution in 1 day.
  • Incredible city (Score:5, Informative)

    by miope ( 727503 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @02:49AM (#11123272) Homepage
    I have been in Curitiba, and I must say that it's a Wonderful, Incredible city.
    Amazing architecture, excelent transportation, lot's of things to do, and see.

    They are heavely influenced by Centro European inmigration, I was surprised finding typical ucranian foods, etc. They also have parks representing the cultural carachteristics of each community (poland park, ucranian park, german park, etc.).

    They really are the "Ecological Capital of Brazil"... they have a saying:

    "If you cut a tree, and the police catch you, you better kill the policeman... you will spend less years in prison".

    The only bad part is that, being a city at 850-1000 meters of altitud, it's not uncommon to have 25 Celsius degrees at midday and 6 degrees at 10 p.m. It's not really cold, but the difference between night and day is excesive.

    Anyway, it's a really nice city, full of nice people!
    • Sounds nice to visit, but would you want to live there? When I have my fantasies of expatriation, I usually think about western europe. You know, holland, switzerland, etc. But how's life for an expat in Brazil?
  • Now they say apartment, so is that $300,000 a month?

    Or is it a $300,000 condo? Cause if it's a $300,000 condo that's pretty cheap considering some of the ones I've seen here in Philly.

    Now if it's $300,000 a month, then.. well. I don't really know. Are there really that many people in our world that can afford to buy a $300,000 a month apartment in Brazil and still have money for other stuff?
    • US$ 1.00 is about R$ 2.70. So, US$ 300k is about R$ 800k. In other words, the price is equivalent to US$ 800k in the US market.

      It's not that cheap, specially considereing the cost of life in Curitiba, which is lower than São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
  • Nice (Score:3, Funny)

    by Laugurinn ( 651157 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @03:12AM (#11123335) Homepage
    I had a vision. A 6 storey rubic's cube with horizontal 360 scrolling.
  • In the US, for example, there's a big push to single story retirement homes. The issue here is that stairs just aren't good when you have difficulty moving around. They become hard to get up especially if you need a walker or wheelchair to get around, and falling down stairs can lead to broken bones (eg, hip fractures are often death sentences for the elderly). I don't think you'd want to retire to a place like this unless you retire young and plan to move out when you get older.
  • Assuming you'd actually *use* the rotation feature:

    Whilst 250 square meters is quite a lot, bear in mind that you can't have anything in the way of furniture within any significant distance of the hub because at some times, where that furniture would be becomes the door to your bathroom, kitchen or stairwell - which you presumably don't want to block.

    For the same reason, you also can't have radial interior walls of any kind. So you can't have a spare guest bedroom or any kind of privacy except in the hub
    • Who says everything has to be in the center? With proper wiring and piping, the bathroom and kitchen could be in relatively the same place all the time.

      There could be a central room that everything opens into, and where the border between the apartment and hub is. There could also be radial walls, as long as they didn't go all the way to the center (this gruesome accident [] comes to mind).
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @04:28AM (#11123509)
    No pictures, unfortunately, but a good description of the late American architect Richard Foster's rotating house can be found here: Their life revolved around home [] It is a stunner to be found in once-rural Connecticut, glass walled on a long-stemmed base. (Foster was a partner of Philip Johnson) For the most part, he relied on off-the-shelf, low-maintenance, industrial solutions for electricity, plumbing, etc. The house, 500,000 pounds, the motor, 1 1/4 horsepower.
  • fixed asset (Score:3, Funny)

    by kcelery ( 410487 ) on Saturday December 18, 2004 @04:47AM (#11123545)
    It redefines the meaning of fixed asset.
  • In a similar trend to Alek's Christmas Lights webcam, anonymous internet users will be able to adjust the direction and velocity of each floor with a click of a button.

    In other news, researchers intrigued my innovative new earthquake simulation technologies, begun flocking to Curitiba in force.

  • The owner may also change the direction and speed of the revolutions. At low speed, each floor takes an hour to revolve. ... some good hacking ;-)

  • Each 300,000-dollar apartment occupies an entire floor, and there are 11 floors? While 300 grand is pretty steep for an apartment, 3.3 million doesn't seem like a lot for such a revolutionary building (pun! ah, I kill me).
  • by pHatidic ( 163975 )
    Buy an ad.
  • Help Jane, stop this crazy thing!

    Now, they say the SLOWEST rotation is 1 per hour, so, the fastest rotation is what? Fast enough to make it your own workout track? Part apartment, part nordic track? Can I run in place?

    Consider that if retired, you won't be running all that fast, and hey, a geek to start with, so probably overweight and somewhat slothy to start with... Maybe you could keep up with the building.

    Hey, how fast was Frank Poole running in the Discovery in 2001? How funny is it that I'm now tal
  • by tsa ( 15680 )
    Only 300K dollars for a big appartment like that! You can't get a decent house for that in Holland (if you want to live in a city like Amsterdam).
  • An unusual apartment building was inaugurated in Brazil, each of whose 11 storeys turns independently, giving lucky residents 360-degree views of the eco-friendly city of Curitiba.

    So is this tower meant to be a slap in the face to Curitiba? With the extra resources required to build and maintain it, as well as the energy required to operate, this building is certainly not eco-friendly.
  • A few other people have pointed out how $300k for one of these apartments is pretty cheap. Okay, sure, but it is Brazil after all. However, of more interest to me is that each apartment takes up one floor, and there are only eleven floors. So.. the market value of the building is $3.3 million, meaning it must have cost less than that to build! That's what I can't get my head around.. Brazil or not, an 11 storey building for $3m!??
  • ...just crank up the RPMs to maximum and send them flying out of the window!
  • From the article:
    Lights, air conditioning and the revolving of the apartment can be turned on and off with a remote control or an oral command.

    I can see it now... We're having sex in the apartment and my girlfriend starts shouting faster! faster! oh yes! faster!!!. The next thing you know our apartment is rotating at a blurry 45 RPM and the neighbors on the street are looking up and thinking "there they go, at it again!".

  • That I'm not the super in that building.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp