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LAVA’s Tower Skin wins U.N. sponsored award

LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) has won an award for its speculative transformation of the UTS tower in Sydney, Australia. The Re-Skinning Award was given by Zerofootprint, a leading organisation in the global fight against climate change.

LAVA’s design, ‘Tower Skin’, included a transparent skin, composed of lightweight, high performance composite mesh textile. The skin itself generates energy with photo-voltaic cells, collects rain-water, improves day lighting and uses available convective energy to power the tower’s ventilation requirements. LAVA’s concept was to transform the 1960’s UTS tower into a sustainable, aesthetically pleasing structure, using a simple, cost effective material. LAVA suggests that maximum visual impact can be achieved with minimum material effort as surface tension allows the membrane to stretch freely around walls and roof elements.

The Zeroprize was awarded during the U.N. World Urban Forum 5, held on 22nd-26th March in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Chris Bosse, Australian director of LAVA, said: “The speculative project, ‘Tower Skin’, offers a unique opportunity to transform the identity, sustainability and interior comfort of the once state-of-the-art building.”

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