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National Centre for Popular Music Rotating Roof Cowls

ARX Kinetic Solutions played an instrumental role in the construction of Sheffield’s National Centre for Popular Music, designed by visionary architect Nigel Coates.

The Challenge

The structure consists of four stainless steel clad drums, joined together by a covered foyer.

As well as being the aesthetic centrepiece of the buildings, the drums’ roof cowls channel the power of the wind to provide an environmentally friendly and cost effective ventilation system.


The Solution

In order to harness this power, the roof cowls must rotate into the wind so that its full force can be fed down the funnels at all times.

ARX not only mobilised the huge structures, but automated them to sense the direction of the wind and manoeuvre smoothly and silently into position, in synchronisation.

This pioneering feature of engineering was the first of its kind in the world.

Technical Details

Explore more kinetic projects from ARX