Rotating House Follows The Sun While Generating Power

A project by the University of Oporto has brought forth a moving home that creates energy from the sun, and expands to fit a growing family.

Karen Summerson
Karen Summerson on September 20, 2012. @KJSummerson

The mid-20th century introduced new concepts in architectural design which focused on adjustable housing, homes that would grow with your family. This was made famous by artistic groups, such as the Japanese Metabolists and a British collaboration called Archigram. Both used the ‘capsule,’ a unit which could be added onto or replaced, if necessary. Most of these designs never made it past the page, the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo being a rare exception.

Now the 21st century has taken the idea one step further, making it a reality with green technology and transferable units. The Casa em Movimento, developed in Portugal at the University of Oporto, follows the sun’s east/west path during the day to create energy, adjust room lighting, and reduce heat consumption.

The house’s energy-creating skin, a series of photovoltaic panels, in addition to aesthetic, thermal cork and a structure of timber insures not only a stability, but longevity, which is promising for future plans to make this model a reality. Below is a newscast from Madrid, which shows the building process and a model of the final product.

The project’s webpage gives a rough sketch of the life of a home, adding and subtracting units as the family grows and evolves. In their words: “The family evolved. The house evolved with them.”

University of Oporto

Images via: Symbiosis Group, Green Packs, and Casa Em Movimento.