A Merry-Go-Round House

Bridgeport Sunday Post

Andree Hickok
November, 1968

How fast does your house go?

Architect Richard Foster’s newly completed mushroom-shaped house in Wilton moves from nine inches to five feet a minute—the only house to do so in the world, he says. The revolutionary two-story home swivels in whatever direction is desired, to the right, or to the left. “Forward or reverse,” Mr. Foster says.

A successful architect with offices in New York city at 60 East 42nd street, Mr. Foster explained that while there are turning restaurants in several cities already, only the doughnut shaped outer- deck supporting tables and chairs turns while the central core supporting kitchen, lobby, dining-room and lavatories remain stationary. The entire glassed-in creation on Olmstead Hill road turns a complete circle.

The house pirouettes to take advantacrbe of the 360-degree panoramic views, he said, and to follow the sun. “We are living in a mechanized age, and there is no reason for a house not to be mechanized,” ‘he said.
The house, which also resembles a truncated lighthouse, is powered by a one and ‘a half horsepower electric motor from the Rotek corporation in Ohio, “a pioneering concern also,” Mr. Foster smiled. The 14-foot gear was imported from Germany.

The apparatus weighs 6,000 pounds,Rotek manufaCtures multiload bearings for large cranes and excavators. The mechanism is capable of taking vertical loads of up to five million pounds and resists sideways pressure of winds up to 125 miles per hour.

The weight of the house hangs from a ring at the top which, in turn, is transmitted down on all sides to the huge bearings. This system of equalizing load distribution solves any balance problems which could occur if a crowd of 60 persons congregated in one particular room with no counterbalanced load on the other side of the house. The powerful ball-bearing assembly which incorporates a speed-reduction unit is housed in, the pedestal of the house. Its task is to rotate the approximately 30 foot high upper structure which weighs a half million pounds. The 70 foot in diameter “floating disc” contains a five-foot wide deck on its outer edge, a den, three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, all wedge-shaped, and two and a half bathrooms. Floor to ceiling glass window sliding units circling the upper story afford maximum viewing of the sloping valley which overlooks Pope’s Pond reservoir. The pedestal and roof are covered with white cedar shingles. The four-acre site on which the structure is located, Mr. Foster points out, forms a natural amphitheater and the residence