The Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill architectural firm has been busy stirring up the world’s skyline with a slew of lean, green superstructures that push the energy-neutral envelope. AS+GG recently unveiled plans for their latest oeuvre: a Clean Technology Tower in Chicago that takes a multi-generative approach to producing its own energy. Harnessing an atrium of wind turbines beneath a roof-top solar shell, the building “utilizes advanced technologies and climate-appropriate building systems to foster a symbiotic relationship with its local environment.”
The current state of architecture is exciting because sustainable technologies are available, have developed past their nascent stages, and are beginning to converge and synergize with each other. In designing the Clean Technology Tower, Smith and Gill built upon their Pearl River Tower to develop a marvel of biomimicry that takes advantage of site specific sun-rays and air-streams to drive a bevy of power producing dynamos.
More than just a showy face, the tower’s aerodynamic front funnels wind through turbines that are strategically located at the corners and roof of the structure. These placements maximize wind velocity, which drives the turbines to generate power and ventilate the tower’s interior. A transparent solar roof tops the structure off, ready to soak up the southern sun. The tower is set to cover over 1.8 million square feet of office space in addition to a 300,000 square foot hotel, a spa, and street-level retail space.