The Suite Vollard
Architecture in Revolution
The Suite Vollard, located in the Ecoville District in Curitiba, Brazil, is the world’s first rotating building. There have been a handful of predecessors who have attempted to design rotating living environments, but it required the architectural genius of Bruno de Franco for this vision to come to fruition. The Suite Vollard was named in homage to Pablo Picasso’s collection of etchings, the Vollard Suite, which was held on display when the building was inaugurated. There are 15 floors, 11 of which are apartments. The liberating windows of each residence have double sheets of glass with those of the exterior tinted silver, gold, or blue, depending on the floor. This provides spectacular lustrous, and ever changing effects for inhabitants of the surrounding area, as the floors rotate in opposite directions according to the individual desires of the suite occupants. The speed of rotation is variable up to a maximum considered to be comfortable, and the starts and stops are quite smooth. Friction between floors is minimal, so there is no noise or vibration from neighbors in rotation. Each luxurious apartment has 2885 sq.ft of space, surrounded by 323 sq.ft of scenic windowed balconies that provide access to all rooms through doors positioned at every 90 degrees. The apartment rings rotate around a static core used for building services, utilities, and all functions that require plumbing, such as the kitchens and bathrooms. Bruno’s unprecedented creation is as economical and durable as it is beautiful. His design makes greater use of finite space, allowing more floors than other buildings of the same height. Suite Vollard underwent extensive testing – including accelerating endurance testing that simulated 10 years of intensive use. Amazingly, (due to components designed for high durability) the results revealed no need for component repairs, projected for more than 30 years. Equally as astonishing, is that most of the components are available “off the shelf”, very simple and inexpensive, easily purchased with little preventive maintenance required. The Suite Vollard’s futuristic capabilities also require remarkably low electric energy consumption. Rotation requires about the same energy per hour as the average hair dryer. In addition, vinyl frames ensure thermal insulation providing an astounding measure (up to 50% )of energy conservation – even with the use of AC and heating systems.