Whether there's any chance of this project coming to fruition, you've got to admire the chutzpah of Marks Barfield architects. The London firm has designed, with a little help from Atelier One engineers, a remarkable monolithic structure made of four rectangles, of which two go up and down at the push of a button. Until the button breaks, that is.
"Specifically created for sensitive sites and affording sensational views," says one of its creators, "Villa Hush-Hush is designed as a spectacular new home concept that can disappear into a landscape, but at the touch of a button be lifted above the treetops to provide wonderful panoramic views."
Anyway, enough of that blah-blah — we all want to know how the jiggins the building goes up and down. So here it is:
The structure has a counterweight of 286 tons of steel plate suspended in a cradle. This is driven by eight 22 kilowatt drive motors, and there are dampers in the structure to limit movement when it is fully extended, or when the wind is too high.
Travelling at around four inches per second, Villa Hush Hush takes five minutes to reach its full height, and just three minutes to return to ground level. What I want to know is, can it be hacked to go faster?