This spiraling hollow structure is an exploration into a new prototype for a sustainable tower that may become a necessity if the planet heats up even more than it already is. Wrapped in a thin membrane of solar cells, the tower generates power for interior uses, while water is collected on the facade and then stored in a cistern underground. Not only is the tower’s appearance striking, it also combines residential, office, commercial, and growing space with renewable energy generation, water collection and a sophisticated cooling system.
Designed by Kenneth Loh and Michelle Lim, this eco-tower has a hollow core that acts as a stack to draw hot air up and out of the building, while drawing cool air in from the bottom. Spiraling around the core are the mixed-use areas – residential, office, gardens, farms, open space, etc. A continuous ramp winds up the tower with low, medium and high density residential units attached. Along the way, open air spaces draw in air for natural ventilation.
Thin film solar cells are attached to the exterior of the building and the collected rainwater is stored in an underground cistern to be later used throughout the vertical community. The tower is an interesting combination of a vertical garden and mixed-use development with open space. Over the years, the tower would grow in an organic fashion as the gardens and open space mature, which leaves the exterior a bit jumbled without a cohesive architectural presence. The designers’ vision was that a series of these towers could provide sustainable housing for urban environments and help cool the environment.