Celebrity Homes

San Diego’s famous rotating house for sale

A unique and innovative architectural marvel has hit the real estate market for the first time.

The Rotating House, perched atop Mount Helix in San Diego, is now available for sale, offering luxury, functionality, and technological advancements to prospective buyers.

Listed for US$5.3 million, the Rotating House was constructed by Al and Janet Johnstone two decades ago, born out of a desire for a round property, according to Architectural Digest.

The idea to incorporate rotation came about during a conversation about optimising the views from each room. “Well, it’s round, why don’t we rotate it?” suggested Al Johnstone in a CNN video from 2012.

The couple eagerly embraced the concept, and together they brought their vision to life.

Spanning an impressive 436sq m across two levels, the house boasts four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms.

On the first floor, a kitchenette, two-car garage, and full bath provide versatility, potentially serving as a granny flat.

The upper level houses the primary bedroom, three additional bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and both a rotating and stationary deck.

Completing the ensemble is a finished basement.

The rotating house in San Diego is for sale for $5.3 million. Photo: Melvina Selfani.

The Rotating House owes its mesmerising motion to a one and a half horsepower motor that activates drive wheels on a steel track.

The second floor elegantly glides into motion, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The rotation can be adjusted to preference, taking anywhere from 33 minutes to 24 hours for a complete revolution and can rotate in either direction.

Embracing floor-to-ceiling windows, the primary circular volume of the house offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Diego, the Coronado Bridge, Cowles Mountain, Mt. Palomar, and the Cuyamaca mountains.

The rotating house in San Diego is for sale for $5.3 million. Photo: Melvina Selfani.

Thanks to its unique design, occupants can indulge in these picturesque vistas from any room within the property.

Mr Johnstone, who took on multiple roles during the construction process, including architect, engineer, and general contractor, shared his passion for the project.

Despite lacking formal training in homebuilding or architecture, Al and Janet dedicated themselves to creating a structurally sound home.

The rotating house in San Diego is for sale for $5.3 million. Photo: Melvina Selfani.

They enlisted the expertise of engineers to review Al’s work and ensure its integrity. Over the years, the Rotating House has gained recognition through press coverage, particularly on HGTV’s Offbeat America, and has become a local sensation in the San Diego area.

While the Rotating House is not the only home of its kind, it stands as one of the most renowned.

Other notable examples include the Girasole House in Australia, designed by DNA Architects, which follows the sun’s path and has received accolades for its sustainable innovation.

Additionally, the D’Angelo House in Snow Creek, California, and the Round House in Wilton, Connecticut, showcase the growing trend of rotating homes.

The rotating house in San Diego is for sale for $5.3 million. Photo: Melvina Selfani.

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