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LAVA’s speculative proposal for a new skin for the UTS Tower in Sydney has been named as one of the five winning projects in the UN-sponsored ZEROprize Re-Skinning Awards.
Zerofootprint, a leading organization in the global fight against climate change, announced the winners in Rio de Janeiro as part of the World Urban Forum 5 which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 22-26 March 2010.
The ZEROprize challenged design teams to use re-skinning and retrofitting ideas to transform an existing concrete high-rise structure. Proposals needed to reduce the carbon footprint of the existing building to zero, while also maintaining high architecture and design standards.
The ZEROprize Re-Skinning Awards are intended 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’.
LAVA’s concept design imagined a transparent mesh skin that would stretch over the exterior of the UTS Tower. PV cells would be imbedded in the mesh, which would also harvest rainwater and use convective energy to provide the tower’s ventilation requirements.
The concept offers a unique way to transform the performance and aesthetics of a once state-of-the-art building, with a design that can be easily applied to other buildings around the world.
The other four winners at the 2010 Awards included Aidlin Darling Architects, Simon & Assoc., CB Engineers’ transformation of a former industrial building in San Francisco; Oswald Mathias Ungers and DAHM Architekten + Ingenieure’s retrofitting concept for a residential tower in Berlin; the Now House proposal to upgrade a 60-year-old house in Toronto, designed by Work Worth Doing Studio & Lorraine Gauthier; and the design for the Sparkasse Vorderpfalz bank in Germany, proposed by Egon Weiß (1974), Thiemo Ebbert, imagine-envelope (2009) Arch.; Rudolf P. Evers, General Planner; Balck and Partner, Facility Engineering.