October 24, 2006 Which way do you orient your home when you have spectacular views on all sides? Luke Everingham had that problem but having worked as a high-end audio/video engineer and construction contractor, he looked for and found the solution to the problem in a different way. Taking an idea from a throwaway comment from his wife, he conceived, designed and built a rotating house that offers not only dial-a-view, but can take full advantage of its rotational powers to optimise the use of sunlight to create better thermal efficiency. The Everingham Rotating House is situated four hours north of Sydney, NSW, and any room in the house can choose its view from pristine rapids and deep water river views on one side to soaring mountains on the other. The rotating home is one of the most remarkable and unique homes in the world but it wasn’t always that way. Luke and wife Debbie lived initially just a few metres away in a 90-year-old farmhouse and had theorised for some time on how to take most advantage of the landscape when they built their dream home. One night at a dinner party Debbie made a comment about how it would be nice to be able to turn an existing design by 15 degrees and Luke came up with the idea of a rotating home. Ingeniously solving engineering problems for a living in the construction industry had prepped him well. The drawings took six months and were the start of thousands of hours of research over six years to the completion of the house. “There’s a fair bit (of work) in it to make it work,” says Luke. Everingham is now seeking to commercialise the expertise he gained in constructing ERH Mk I and living in it for several years, and looks forward to creating new and innovative solutions for using natural light and the environment to assist the house… and check out this stunning pictorial.
Built largely of glass and steel, the house is powered by an electric motor and has some interesting abilities not normally on offer with a conventional home – if you’re keen to soak up some rays, you can program the room you’re in to follow the sun. The maximum speed of the house is one revolution every thirty minutes, a speed offering a kaleidoscope-like usage of ambient light. “Living in the house has been where we’ve learned the most – until you experience that nature’s cavalcade of lights between sunset, morning, evening and then dusk, you can’t fully visualise what’s possible. This is a unique solution for people who want to appreciate where they live and I suspect there are many rewards in the design of rotating homes that we’re yet to discover. And even when we’re at our tenth or one hundredth home, we’ll still be learning things. Some aspects of the view have naturally become favourites says Everingham. “We always turn the living room towards the river at night, and I’ve found I’m more interested in working with a particular view than chasing the sun, so I’ll move the house to where I want it and then let it sit.
Given the interest the project has generated within Australia, Luke will be building more rotating homes. “I have looked at what’s required to build rotating homes and I have realised that the best way for me to move forward is to find a national and perhaps international partners to work with,” says Everingham.
“If you started from scratch, it’d cost a million dollars Australian to build one and you’d be hard pressed to know as much as we knew about the process at that point, let alone what we can add having lived in the house and seen the possibilities of what is possible in the future.”
“I’d be pleased to hear from anyone who thinks they can assist me in that endeavour.”