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Dubai May Soon Be Home to the World’s First 'Rotating Skyscraper'

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Residents of a new skyscraper in Dubai will be able to fall asleep in front of one view and wake up facing another. That’s because, when completed, the structure will be the first to include rotating floors capable of moving independently from one another.

According to Travel + Leisure, David Fischer of the Dynamic Group is the architect with the ambitious vision to build the world’s first rotating skyscraper. Each unit is to be built separately, which would also make the building the first prefabricated skyscraper on Earth. Once constructed, the apartments will be attached to a central, stationary hub with wind turbines between each floor that generate electricity. Using voice commands, residents will be able to tell the unit to start, stop, adjust its rotation speed, and move to follow the sun or shade. The price of each living space is estimated to come out to $30 million.

The project has been met with numerous setbacks since it was proposed in 2008, but Fischer recently shared that it’s back on with completion set for 2020. The rotating skyscraper would join Dubai’s lineup of remarkable architecture, which includes the first 3D-printed office building and the world’s tallest skyscraper.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Buckingham Palace Was Built With Jurassic Fossils, Scientists Find
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The UK's Buckingham Palace is a vestige from another era, and not just because it was built in the early 18th century. According to a new study, the limestone used to construct it is filled with the fossilized remains of microbes from the Jurassic period of 200 million years ago, as The Telegraph reports.

The palace is made of oolitic limestone, which consists of individual balls of carbonate sediment called ooids. The material is strong but lightweight, and is found worldwide. Jurassic oolite has been used to construct numerous famous buildings, from those in the British city of Bath to the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.

A new study from Australian National University published in Scientific Reports found that the spherical ooids in Buckingham Palace's walls are made up of layers and layers of mineralized microbes. Inspired by a mathematical model from the 1970s for predicting the growth of brain tumors, the researchers created a model that explains how ooids are created and predicts the factors that limit their ultimate size.

A hand holding a chunk of oolite limestone
Australian National University

They found that the mineralization of the microbes forms the central core of the ooid, and the layers of sediment that gather around that core feed those microbes until the nutrients can no longer reach the core from the outermost layer.

This contrasts with previous research on how ooids form, which hypothesized that they are the result of sediment gathered from rolling on the ocean floor. It also reshapes how we think about the buildings made out of oolitic limestone from this period. Next time you look up at the Empire State Building or Buckingham Palace, thank the ancient microbes.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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