This might be the coolest house design concept for urban dwellers and landscape lovers alike – a singular shining metal-and-glass structure divided into sections, each of which independently slides up story by story. With this marvelous motion comes stunning views on all sides, and the option to retreat, dropping back down to disappear in the surrounding environment. Just imagine: push a button and you could move your whole home or just part of it, changing your entire perspective, privacy level and relationship to other rooms at will.
It looks fantastic, and seems like a fantasy, but this dream home is designed with all kinds of practical considerations in mind – include a rigidly simple rectangular floor plan. Structural and mechanical engineers have established working methods to allow for a smooth ride up and down as well as stable experience at any height. They have accounted for wind, seismic activity and other natural elements that would interfere with both mobile and static building performance.
Designed by Marks Barfield Architects and officially dubbed ‘Villa Hush Hush’, there is little quite about this concept except the surprisingly pragmatic plans for building it -the project is partly visionary and idealistic but it has strong roots in structural reality as well. For a moment, though, forget the latter and let your mind wander over a variety of landscape settings with these structures towering above you and moving slowly and up down with unpredictable rhythms – or being on the inside looking out while the world drops slowly away all around you.
However, this house is also grounded in real principles of physics and realities of building construction. A hydraulic system lifts each section smoothly up into the sky and lowers it back to a stationary hover above the ground. Systems of buried counterweights are hidden within an underground support column, making the effect on the surface all the more magical. A redundant mechanical system is in place for emergencies and dampers make everything feel seamless to inhabitants.