Architectural visualisation has come in many shapes and forms over the years. We've seen the ideas from ancient civilisation that consisted of huge stone structures, remnants of which still remain today. We see all around us the architectural visualisation of the Victorians. Obsessed with the ornate styling of the gothic trends of the time, they were very keen on gargoyles, spires and lots of fancy detail.
Engineering feats have come on a hundred fold since the days of the Victorians. Materials have come and gone in fashion, glass being quite a big feature of buildings over the last twenty or thirty years. Extra strong glass has been developed that make it suitable for use in large sheets to make bright, modern buildings with a futuristic look. However, the problem of sitting in a greenhouse when you're at the office has had to be overcome.
With air conditioning and protective shields on glass this has now become an easier product to work with but those in earthquake zones are not so keen on the idea, however safe it may seem!
Architectural visualisation has been set further challenges over the years. Engineers have had to come up with ways to make building safer in our ever more dangerous climate of extreme weather and terrorism. Added to this is the matter of the way architects like to challenge themselves, coming up with structures that appear to defy the laws of physics but are actually clever ways of deploying engineering skills.
Skyscrapers have been a part of our landscape for many years now. Originally seen as a bit of an eye sore, their usefulness in housing lots of people in a small area has outweighed the complaints. They are also useful in built up areas for accommodating many businesses in one block but the challenge to give them some visual appeal has been set for architects globally.
To this end, an Italian architect has come up with a skyscraper with a difference. The view changes hourly. How can this be so? Once built, the architect believes it is possible that each floor will be able to rotate. Two buildings are planned in this style the first 80 floor 'dynamic tower' is planned for Dubai with another in Moscow by the end of 2010.
David Fisher is the owner of the Rotating Tower Technology Company and architect behind this proposed building. Of course, the concept is not new. There are already buildings with individual floors that rotate but to construct a complete tower that is in constant perpetual motion is something else.
The idea from the architect is that buildings fit around our seasons. Not so long ago everyone wanted a home with a South facing garden to make the most of the summertime but what if that home could rotate so that you could make the most of good weather all year round? Not an idea yet applied to individual homes but I guess these skyscrapers are just the beginning.
Prefabricated apartments that spin round a central concrete core are the idea behind the tower and will be activated by voice command. Electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines fitted between floors. This is an innovative idea to keep a building supplying its own energy so also takes into account its impact on the environment.
Residents will purchase an entire floor each with its own parking space, right outside! Car elevators, gardens and swimming pools are also to be incorporated into this architectural visualisation and has set huge challenges to the engineers working on the project.
The first tower is expected to cost 355 million pounds so I'm doubting that the average person will be taking out a mortgage on a floor. Initial reservations stemmed from the fact that Mr Fisher had never designed a skyscraper before but experienced architects are also collaborating on the building and ensure us it will be as safe as houses.
Design expert Catherine Harvey looks at the modern day feats of architectural visualisation and its hopes for the future.