Tower Skin

1960s icons get facelift

LAVA Architects as Architects

TOWER SKIN 1960s icons around the world could receive a much-needed facelift, thanks to an innovative plan called ‘re-skinning’.


Multinational architectural practice, Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA), developed a simple, cost effective, easily constructed skin for the University of Technology [UTS] Broadway Tower in Sydney that promises to transform an icon into a sustainable and stunning building and can easily be applied to other 1960s icons across the globe.


The speculative project, ‘Tower Skin’, offers a unique opportunity to transform the identity, sustainability and interior comfort of the once state-of-the-art building.


Tower Skin is a transparent cocoon that acts as a high performance ‘micro climate’. It generates energy with photo-voltaic cells, collects rain water, improves day lighting and uses available convective energy to power the towers’ ventilation requirements.


The Tower is wrapped with three-dimensional lightweight, high performance composite mesh textile. Surface tension allows the membrane to freely stretch around walls and roof elements achieving maximum visual impact with minimal material effort.


As day turns to night, Tower Skin becomes a dynamic sculpture on Sydney’s skyline, an intelligent media surface, communicating information such as performances and campus events in real time.


Tower Skin won the 2010 ZEROprize Re-Skinning Award. The award was given by Zerofootprint, a leading organisation in the global fight against climate change. The United Nations Habitat is a partner of the awards.


The ZEROprize Re-Skinning Awards aim to 'stimulate market-disrupting improvements in the design and development of retrofitting and re-skinning technologies that enhance the energy efficiency and liveability of older buildings'.

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