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Video: LAVA designs new skin for old Sydney icons

February 4, 2010

LAVA propose a mesh textile ‘skin’ to transform Sydney’s tired 1960s landmarks into sustainable buildings.

Chris Bosse’s firm LAVA has developed a simple, cost-effective, easily constructed skin for the UTS Tower, Goulburn Street Car Park and other 1960s buildings in Sydney as part of a speculative ‘re-skinning’ project.

The transparent cocoon acts as a high performance micro-climate. Called Tower Skin, the lightweight mesh textile fabric stretches around walls and generates energy with PV cells, collects rainwater, and uses available convective energy to power the towers’ ventilation requirements.

{youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCnucy-Qwgk}

At night, the sculptural skin comes to life, with a media surface that communicates performance and campus events in real time.

The practice explains that the skin provides a means of retrofitting older buildings – rather than replacing them. “A re-skinned UTS Tower could be an example of sustainability, innovation, cutting edge design and creative education, without demolishing and rebuilding the 1960s icon,” Bosse said.

The skin “can cheaply enhance [a building's] performance and aesthetics through this minimal intervention,” he added.

*Images* courtesy LAVA. The plans are currently included in the STATE.RESPOND. Exploring Sustainable Design exhibition at Object Gallery, Sydney, from 6 Feburary until 28 March 2010.

  • John De Luca February 17th, 2010 5:14 am

    How is the issue of view out of the building addressed? It seems to cloak the tower in a scrim that would provide an obscured vision and that is an unreasonable way to treat the occupants. One also has to question the urban message of a scheme based on the notion of camouflage.


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