this 'flying house' in italy used to follow the sun

Mar 18, 2021

designed and built by annunzio lagomarsini, this flying house is located in castelnuovo magra, in italy. a retired builder himself, lagomarsini worked for many years in his family-owned building company, learning about construction, structures and engineering. in 1977 he decided to apply all his knowledge into a flying house which took him seven years to build and which he then inhabited with his wife.

‘I kept building until I saw the sea,’ said annunzio lagomarsini. ‘then I stopped. if 22 meters in height weren’t enough, I would have gone even higher.’

built from 1987 to 1994, the flying house has 110sqm arranged on two floors, including two large terraces. it was built using recycled materials from building and naval yards, and it is supported by a metal platform that allows it to be lifted 20 meters above the ground thanks to the hydraulic cylinders. it can also rotate 360º degrees and slide on two tracks a distance of 12 meters.

‘my father in old age was moving with great difficulty,’ lagomarsini continued. ‘in the last years of his life he lived on a hill and in the morning he left the house very slowly, carrying a chair. he was looking for the sun all day and so he had to move to follow it, but only after many efforts he could succeed in his attempt. so I promised myself that I would try to do something to solve this problem when I grow old. I wondered why do I have to follow the sun and not have the house do it for me?’

the flying house is suspended on a scissor structure without a central pivot and made with 80% recycled iron. this structure is 4.20 meters high and once the mechanism of elevation is activated, it can be raised by another 4.20 meters, resulting in a total of 8.40 meters from the ground. overall, measuring from the roof and at its maximum suspension, the house can be elevated up to 12.50 meters high. the 360º rotation takes 54 minutes to complete full circle.

in 2012, annunzio was doing some maintenance when he accidentally pressed a button that set up one of the engines. this resulted in a burst of pistons and engines which made the flying house hang on one side. to fix it, he had to remove the electricity from the mechanism and with the help of a crane, he was able to bring it back to a horizontal position. sadly, the flying house is no longer able to rise and can be only seen in resting position.

project info:

name: flying house

design: annunzio lagomarsini

location: castelnuovo magra, italy