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UTS Broadway Tower

Facelift for Sydney's ugliest buildings

The unpopular UTS Broadway Tower could turn from an out-dated 60’s icon into a super modern skyline spot - by a sustainable concept.

The Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) has developed a skin which promises to transform tired 60’s relicts into sustainable and stunning buildings. “A speculative project, ‘Tower Skin’, for the University of Technology (UTS) Broadway Tower in Sydney offers a unique opportunity to transform the identity, sustainability an interior comfort of the once state-of-the-art building”, said Chris Bosse, Australian director of LAVA.

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.

LAVA has also proposed a transformation for a much-maligned car park in Sydney’s CBD.

According to Bosse, the re-skinning technology could be applied to other buildings in need of a facelift without demolishing and rebuilding them. LAVA was founded in 2007 with offices in Sydney, Stuttgart and Abu Dhabi. They recently won an international competition to design the heart of Masdar, the world’s first eco city in the UAE.

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