Turntables and other rotating structural features have been used to increase efficiency since the wheel’s invention. Consider the lazy Susan for large family dining scenarios, rotating shelves in less-accessible corner kitchen cabinets or the railroad and car turntables that improve a vehicle’s ability to enter, turn and exit small areas. Now, similar technology – implemented by way of rotating home architecture – has been used in Tehran in order to increase year-round energy efficiency and interior comfort.
Rotating Home Architecture: Taking Passive Solar Design & Flexibility For a Spin
Passive solar design is an increasingly popular sustainable design technique, using lot and home orientation, paired with architectural features and landscaping, to enhance solar power during cooler winter months and mitigating it when things warm up. The Sharifi-ha house in Tehran has taken this idea and raised it a spin by using structural rotation to intentionally customize sun exposure while simultaneously expanding the livable exterior terrace square footage during mild-climate months.
Designers from Tehran-based architecture firm Next Office used historical Iranian architectural themes, including separate winter and summer living rooms, as foundations for the home’s design. For their modern take on that traditional theme, architects implemented the same type of mechanical engineering used in theaters and aforementioned car turntables to rotate three main living areas- the breakfast room, guest room and home office – as much as 90° from their original positions depending on the season.
During the colder months, the house becomes “introverted”, closing up to retain heat and eliminating access to now-dormant terraces.
Once the weather warms up, occupants can rotate the space to their extroverted versions, taking advantage of available light, shade and outdoor living space. The house was constructed around a hollow core to maximize the available natural light when the house is closed up.
We’d love a chance to put our own “spin” on rotating home architecture. Give Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors a call to start planning innovative solutions to improve your home’s year-round comfort and efficiency.