If you were alive in the sixties and imagined what the 21st century looked like then you might have imagined jet cars and shape changing skyscrapers. We haven't yet got the flying car, but shape changing towers might soon be on the way if architecture firm Kinetura get their way.
As the name perhaps suggests, the firm is dedicated to the kinetic, or things that are characterised by movement if you want the dictionary definition. Their futuristic concept to what they have dubbed the Kinetower throws away the traditional ideas of static design that dictate the exteriors of buildings, and makes something flexible enough to modify its form to suit the prevailing conditions and requirements placed on it by the users of a building.
A building has long been a machine that people operate, but the mechanics are traditionally on the inside, with perhaps the most sophisticated only having touches like adjustable louvres and solar shading.
The metamorphic concept is perhaps the natural conclusion of the zoomorphic movement. Here it means that form can follow function in ways that are not currently possible in static zoomorphic architecture. In other words the form can be changed automatically changed and become almost like a living thing so, for example, if the interior becomes too warm it can open its skin up to allow natural ventilation.
The Kinetower concept features crossbracing that defines the standard perimeter wall of the building, with strips of vertical cladding in between. The metamorphosis comes about as the vertical cladding strips are in effect ribbons that can be loosened or tightened flexing out and opening the walls of the building up like some particularly sophisticated blinds. Alternatively, an entire section of the fašade can be opened out rigidly like a garage door.
At this stage, the idea is entirely conceptual, but regardless of this Kinetura has already come up with metamorphic lighting and is now working on this. Whether they ever get it working before the flying car takes off is another matter entirely.