Revolving restaurant

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Prima Tower (Singapore) dining area showing an example of a revolving restaurant
The Ambassador Hotel, a revolving restaurant that provides views of the city of Mumbai, India

A revolving restaurant or rotating restaurant is usually a tower restaurant eating space designed to rest atop a broad circular revolving platform that operates as a large turntable. The building remains stationary and the diners are carried on the revolving floor. The revolving rate varies between one and three times per hour and enables patrons to enjoy a panoramic view without leaving their seats.

Such restaurants are often located on upper stories of hotels, communication towers, and skyscrapers.

Design and construction[edit]

Revolving restaurants are designed as a circular structure, with a platform that rotates around a core in the center.[1] The center core would contain the building's elevators, kitchens, or other features.[1]

The restaurant itself would rest on a thin steel platform, with the platform sitting on top of a series of wheels connected to the floor of the structure.[1] Alternatively, some designs, like one in Memphis, Tennessee, would have the platform mounted on tires.[1]

A motor would rotate the restaurant at less than one horsepower.[1] The speed of rotation is noted to vary, depending on preference.[1]


It is believed that Emperor Nero had a rotating dining room in his palace Domus Aurea on the Palatine Hill with a magnificent view on the Forum Romanum and Colosseum. Archaeologist unearthed what they believe to be evidence of such a dining room in 2009.[2]

A barrel-shaped, but stationary, restaurant on Fernsehturm Stuttgart, a TV tower in Stuttgart, Germany, built in 1956, was noted as the inspiration for the idea of a revolving restaurant. A revolving restaurant on Florianturm, a TV tower in Dortmund, Germany, was brought into service in 1959.[3]

The Egyptian architect Naoum Shebib designed the Cairo tower with a revolving restaurant at its top, which opened in April 1961.

John Graham, a Seattle architect and early shopping mall pioneer, is said to be the first in the United States[4] to design a revolving restaurant, at La Ronde, atop an office building at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu in 1961. Graham was awarded US patent 3125189 for the invention in 1964, and used the technology to build the revolving "Eye of the Needle" restaurant still in service at the top of Seattle's Space Needle, drawings of which appear in the patent application.


At least one death has been attributed to the operation of a rotating restaurant. In 2017, a five-year-old boy was wedged between the rotating part of the restaurant and a wall at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Paletta, Anthony (16 October 2014). "A Brief History of Buildings That Spin". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ Squires, Nick (29 September 2009). "Emperor Nero's rotating dining room 'discovered'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ Stadt Dortmund u. Zentralverb. d. Deutschen Gemüse-, Obst- u. Gartenbaues, ed. (1959). Das grüne Dortmund: ein Wegweiser durch die Bundesgartenschau 1959 (in German). Dortmund: Westfalendruck. p. 23.
  4. ^ "Metropolis Feature: Talking About a Revolution". Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  5. ^ Jenkins, Aric (15 April 2017). "A 5-Year-Old Boy Was Crushed to Death By a Rotating Restaurant: Police". Time Magazine. Retrieved 15 March 2018.

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