Cover Story

Architecture should not try to make beautiful buildings, but correct buildings

October 2019
Dr David Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Dynamic Architecture
I practiced architecture in Florence, in what we believe is the city of art. Later in my career, I went to New York City and found that the towers of New York were built in the same way that we built towers in the middle ages. One big difference is that the towers we built are still up over 800 years. The towers built in New York and elsewhere are designed for just 40 years and would not live much more. To make sure they did, I started to develop the technology of construction. 

Some people think it is a crazy idea of skyscrapers in motion but I thought it was the right time to bring to these buildings what is called sustainability and preferred locations. These are dynamic buildings. What is dynamic architecture about? The big impact, of course, is because of motion, but in a way this is not the most important thing. It is not about the physical shape of the building designed, but the result of the motion. All the floors are exactly the same, no skyscraper can be more simple to build and faster to build, and in most cities less expensive than a normal skyscraper because all the floors are exactly the same and are all produced off site. We believe dynamic buildings are an era of logic architecture. It is not the beauty, it is not the shape of the building, it is the logic. 

I believe architecture is not the sculpture, it is first of all feasibility—how much did it cost to build and how much is the value after being built. The second commandment of architecture is the functionality, the specs of the building. The third is technology: the engineering and aspects of engineering. Then sustainability, and the extremely important issue of maintenance. The last thing is the design. That is important but it has to be a result of logic, not a target. 

I believe architecture should not try to make beautiful buildings but correct buildings. In fact, this is my philosophy: Correct is beautiful but beautiful is not always correct. So design is a result of technology. Take, for instance, the Eiffel Tower: Eiffel was an engineer, he was not even an architect; the shape of the tower is a result of structured engineering, a concord piece of art. He did not even spend one penny to make it look so sexy. Another good example is of the dome of the cathedral of Florence. The task of Filippo Brunelleschi about six centuries ago was not to build a nice dome but to build the biggest dome ever built in history. He was not an architect according to today’s concept of architecture; he was an engineer. Maybe not even an engineer, he was a builder and this structure has been here for 600 years. So, beauty is the result of engineering, the result of technology. This is one of the dynamic buildings—the core is complete while all the floors around the core are completely prefabricated and made of steel. 

There are three basic innovations: The motion, so the building is on check continuously and the building change is perfect continuously; green, so the building produces green energy from wind and sun; and the construction, which is mainly the most important. 

All the technologies exist, but they never came to buildings. Industrialisation, I believe, is the future. Dynamic buildings start prefabrication with endless advantages. This is the future, in my opinion. 

I was asked to speak about dynamic architecture in India and the connection between dynamic cost and low-cost housing. So what is the connection? Industrialisation! In fact, we now have the massive work of developing low-cost housing in this country. And one of the few patents has just been registered a day before we speak to build low-cost housing in India, for the first time. I took the idea from cruise ships. It can be built fast and with relatively low cost because it is built off site, not on a construction site. So this is a building for me that is floating with thousands of people and the building is constructed in such a short time; this is the opening to low-cost buildings. The housing issue in India is evident and with the vision of Housing for All, we hope we can bring, through this luxury rotating skyscraper, a contribution to affordable homes as well in India.