Buildings in Motion: 15 Most Mesmerizing Architecture Gifs

Sliding House
architecture gifs sliding house

The entire exterior of this house in Suffolk, England by DRMM slides back and forth on rails to uncover part or all of an entirely glassed-in volume, enabling the residents to customize exactly how much sun their living spaces get throughout the day. The 50-ton mobile metal roof is set in motion by electric motors charged with solar panels.

Retractable Facade on Conjoined Towers
architecture gif retractable

A grid of retractable sun shades in a shape inspired by the Arab Mashrabiya pattern opens and closes on the facades of twin Middle Eastern towers. Commissioned by a media company, the ultra-thin stone-clad towers ‘blossom’ when shade is needed to protect the interior from the harsh desert sun.

Blooming Metal Wall at ACE Cafe

architecture gifs ace cafe

With the push of a button from inside the bar, a vertical mesh of metal deforms and folds upon itself to create an awning outside, opening up the glass facade of the ACE Cafe’s China location in a motion that the architects liken to a blooming metal flower. “We hope to revitalize the cold building through digital technology and mechanic engineering techniques, to fill the atmosphere with breathing space and digital charm, as well as to achieve a long dreamt deformable architecture for architects.”

Secret Wish
architecture gifs secret wish

Photographer Gualtiero Bertoldi doesn’t specify why he titled this gif ‘Secret Wish,’ but maybe that’s because it’s a secret. The effect is cool, regardless.

World’s Tallest Elevators
worlds tallest elevators

How do you engineer the world’s tallest elevators before the tower that’s to hold them has even been built? The engineers in charge of this structural feat intended for Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower, set to break all records for the world’s tallest manmade structure, had to build and test their system in a Finnish mine shaft. Elevator technology is one of the main barriers to building taller and taller buildings, so this part is pretty crucial. The heavy double-decker elevators will cover half-mile distances faster than any other elevator in the world – rising 2,089 feet in a single shot.

Waste-to-Energy Smoking Ski Slope

architecture gif ski slope

A gif made from early concept drawings of BIG’s Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant show how the building’s chimney blows smoke rings into the sky as skiers zoom down adjacent slopes from its rooftop. It may seem like a strange and fantastical concept, but this structure is actually under construction and is set to be the cleanest waste-to-energy facility in the world. Its rooftop ski slope will be a first for Denmark, too. The smoke rings offer a visual tool to see exactly how much CO2 the plant is emitting.

Sliding Facade on Long Tall House
architecture gifs longtall house 2

architecture gifs long tall house

Large sliding aluminum panels on the Long Tall House in Tokyo by SpaceSpace rise up and down to reveal or cover windows, making it seem like the entire five-story structure is growing and shrinking on demand. The facade is operated manually with counter weight mechanics, providing privacy in a single motion.