Gallery: Solar Building Skin Turns Sydney’s Ugliest Tower into an Eco-m...


Sydney’s ugliest building may soon be getting a new lease on life through to a plan to ‘reskin’ the entire tower with a high-performance photovoltaic skin. Architecture firm Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) has proposed the retrofit, and if their plan is enacted it would turn the 1960’s brutalist building into a brilliant super-efficient eco-tower.

The University of Technology Sydney Tower has long been known as Sydney’s ugliest building (it even says so on their website). It was built in 1960 and it currently hosts the headquarters of the University.

LAVA‘s proposed ‘Tower Skin’ concept would wrap the building with a lightweight composite mesh textile. The cocooned shell would then collect rain water, generate electricity and assist the ventilation system in cooling the tower. At night, the skin works as an intelligent media surface that communicates information on events in real time.

While this design is only concept, UTS is making extensive renovations on the tower with the goal of improving energy and water efficiency. Unfortunately, it probably won’t look as cool as this one. The concept design is on display at STATE. RESPOND in the Object Gallery in Sydney.


Via Architecture and Design


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  1. Dubai's Wave Tower is a... September 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

    […] proximity to the waterfront of downtown Dubai. Conceived by A-Cero, the design saves energy with a unique skin and incorporates green zones within to filter the air and boost the living quality of the 92-floor […]

  2. davidwayneosedach February 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Outstanding! So futuristic – it seems unreal. What an addition to downtown Sydney!

  3. February 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    When I studied there in the mid 90’s our Buildin Technology lecturer told us it was the only building in Sydney likely to withstand a nuclear blast. The outer walls are six feet thick.

  4. thiagomaso February 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    i think the new enclosure is much more ugly then the actual, and I hardly believe that wrapping a building makes it “sustainable”. I’m sorry but to me it just make things worst. and it reduce carbon footprint? cmon! its a thin line between doing something good and self promotion, and I might be pessimist with this one, but I think its the second option here.

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