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Roundabout Tower

Use the currently wasted space on roundabouts
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

In villages, towns and cities over most of Britain, space for building new houses is at a premium, largely because of planning restrictions. (The space which towns and cities would naturally expand into is classed as 'green belt', and can not be built on.)

Part of the solution for this is to make better use of the land within the city. There are typically many roundabouts in the suburbs of towns - the centres of these are typically completely wasted, having grass, or at best a neglected flowerbed. I suggest that these could be used to build small towers, creating comfortable and affordable housing.

A large roundabout would be ideal, because there must be some stand-off between the base of the tower and the road, so that drivers can see around. Alternatively, the tower can overhang the road slightly in the elevated stories.
Several floors would be needed to provide living space, some with full, round rooms and some split, and there could be a garden or viewing platform at the top.

Access would be by footbridge, above the road. As an interesting security feature this could be retractable, leaving the house surrounded by a moat of whirling traffic.

Loris, Mar 27 2007

Closest I could find http://www.akayism....rafficisland02.html
[calum, Mar 27 2007]

hippo beat me to the styling suggestion http://www.nlb.org....tory/skerryvore.htm
[calum, Mar 27 2007]

A typical roundabout http://www.swindonw.../life/lifemagi1.jpg
For US Halfbakers unfamiliar with the concept of a roundabout... [hippo, Mar 27 2007]

Frizzell Insurance Building http://maps.google....4,0.008401&t=h&om=1
On the A35 at Branksome, between Bournemouth and Poole [zen_tom, Mar 28 2007]

This is all discussed at length on the skyscraperpage.com chat forum, of course http://forum.skyscr...thread.php?t=125660
[hippo, Mar 28 2007]

Tall building in Birmingham http://www.bbc.co.u...son_gallery.shtml?5
[hippo, Mar 28 2007]

A lighthouse in the middle of a roundabout - in Australia http://www.lighthou...etin%20Mar%2002.htm
"The old Wharton Reef Lighthouse is installed in the middle of a roundabout" [hippo, Mar 28 2007]

Pilgrim Street Roundabout http://maps.google....m+street+roundabout
Newcastle, uk. It's _called_ a roundabout, ok? Click on "Hybrid" to see the building in the middle - the old BT Swan house, as [boysparks] points out. [TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 28 2007, last modified Mar 29 2007]

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       Great idea!   

       How about putting the actual building up on stilts to keep the visibility for the drivers. Big Bun from me!
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 27 2007

       They should all be built to resemble old-fashioned lighthouses.
hippo, Mar 27 2007

       I was sure that this would be baked, somewhere on earth. It seems not. It should be.
calum, Mar 27 2007

       There are plenty of buildings in the lobes of clover-leaf junctions, but I like this one [+].
The French almost invented this one with the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile in Paris (France), but were denied a residential permit.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 28 2007

       This is baked at the old (and, I always thought rather amusingly named) Frizzell Insurance building, now known (I believe) as the Liverpool Victoria, which can be found halfway between Poole and Bournemouth on the A35 (linkage)
zen_tom, Mar 28 2007

       Where does one draw the line between common-or-garden roundabout and "circular junction system"?   

       It does have traffic lights I suppose, but then so do other largish roundabouts.
zen_tom, Mar 28 2007

       A roundabit, perhaps?   

       I wonder if it would be possible to build something that rested on long cylindrical legs, each of which would be planted firmly in the middle of a suburban roundabout.
zen_tom, Mar 28 2007

       Are you suggesting... //putting the actual building up on stilts// ...zen_tom?
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 28 2007

       Oops - yes [Galbinus_Caeli] and I are as one with that notion - except for the difference that each of my stilts occupies the entirity of a single roundabout and all link up together to support some skyward monstrosity - while (I suspect) [G_C] is suggesting that each building is raised upon multiple stilts, but otherwise remains within the boundary defined by the interior of each roundabout.
zen_tom, Mar 28 2007

       Ah, yes. I wondered whether you might have meant the latter. I know of some places in the UK where it wouldn't even have to be that monstrous, perhaps the size of a small supermarket, on four large stilts.   

       In most places, however, I believe that the occupiers of the residences between roundabouts may object to your skyward monstrosity starving their postage stamp lawns of sunlight. I would also cast a doubt as to the physics of supporting a massive, several square mile edifice on so few legs.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 28 2007

       Go and look at Shepherd and Flock roundabout in Farnham, Surrey, a whole village in a roundabout complete with a pub!! Cool!!!
FussyPedant, Mar 28 2007

       In a very few American towns, they do this with the county courthouse. Traditionally, the center of town is "the square", with sometimes one-way streets. I've seen some where the square is rounded so the whole thing becomes a roundabout, practically, around the county building.   

       I've seen a tower like the pagoda link in a roundabout in Banda Aceh in Indonesia.
baconbrain, Mar 29 2007

       Sorry, [boysparks], I didn't realise it links in map mode rather than hybrid.
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 29 2007


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