girasole_tower

Revolving house in Italy

Revolving house in Italy

You might have seen rotating houses before, but this one predates them by decades. Built by Italian engineer Angelo Invernizzi, the house has an upper section that rests on a circular track and follows the sun. The 1,500 tons’ building is powered by two motors with a total of three horsepower.

girasole 660x441 Revolving house in Italy

Villa Girasole (Villa Sunflower), in the hilly surroundings of Marcellise (Verona, Italy), is an extraordinary revolving house built between 1929 and 1935 by the engineer Angelo Invernizzi, whose dream was to build a house that were able to follow the motion of the sun.

girasole01dailyicon Revolving house in Italy

The two storied and L-shaped house rests on a circular base, which is over 44 meters in diameter. In the middle there is a 42-meter tower or lighthouse, which the rotating movement hinges on. A diesel engine pushes the house over three tracks where 15 trolleys can slide the 5,000 cubic meters building at a speed of 4 millimeters per second (it takes 9 hours and 20 minutes to rotate fully). Designed to facilitate necessary repairs, the wheels are clearly visible in the space between the garden roof and the concrete underside of the rotating villa.

Wheels and tracks on terrace Revolving house in Italy

Mr. Invernizzi was thinking of the sun’s path, of a relation with landscape and the space of the inhabitants’ life. He ventured to hope that the new construction breakthroughs would free mankind from the heaviness of traditional techniques and from the burden of history.

girasole 10 660x813 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 11 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 12 Revolving house in Italy

The interiors, designed by the architect’s friend and colleague Ettore Fagioli, combine the modernity of the ‘Novecento’ with that of rationalism; the furnishings in curved metal tubing and the rigorous compositional grammar of the facades combine with the monumental entrance, the pillars covered with gold mosaic, the floors also in ceramic mosaic tile or wood with a geometrical design, the multicolored mosaics of the bathrooms, and the ochre yellow wallpaper, to bring out the value of both movements, reflecting a fundamental chapter of Italian creativity. Reference to the dynamic, sculptural forms of Futurism can be seen in the triangular swimming pool with beveled corners, from which a slide emerges, in reinforced concrete, designed by the engineer Fogliani of Milan, in one corner of the vast garden.

girasole deck 660x989 Revolving house in Italy

The roof-terrace's idea came from Le Corbusier's teachnings

girasole 2 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 3 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 4 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 5 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

The blinds are operated electronically (remember, this was in 1935!)

girasole 6 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 7 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

The 'monumental' entryway

girasole 8 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 9 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 13 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 14 660x371 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 17 660x493 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 16 660x470 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 15 660x484 Revolving house in Italy

 Revolving house in Italy

girasole2 660x484 Revolving house in Italy

girasole 18 Revolving house in Italy

The rotating mechnanism's plan came from battleships' turrets

villagirasolecantiereremn9 Revolving house in Italy

girasole plan 1 Revolving house in Italy

girasole plan 2 Revolving house in Italy

girasole plan 3 Revolving house in Italy

Villa Girasole is currently owned by the Invernizzi Foundation and the Architecture Academy of Mendrisio (Switzerland).

What Others Are Saying

  1. Pingback: The Flexible Home: Airstream Trailer to Rotating Villa | EYE ON DESIGN by Dan Gregory

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>