LAVA: tower skin
LAVA: tower skin
feb 09, 2010

LAVA: tower skin

‘tower skin’ by LAVA




international architectural firm LAVA has developed a simple, cost effective, easily constructed skin that promises to transforms aged 1960’s buildings in sydney, into sustainable, iconic buildings.


‘a speculative project, ‘tower skin’ for the university of technology (UTS) broadway tower in sydney, australia offers a unique opportunity to transform the identity, sustainability and interior comfort of the once state of the art building.‘ chris bosse australian director of LAVA.

LAVA: tower skin close up of the UTS building with ‘tower skin’




‘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.

LAVA: tower skin illuminated in the evening

LAVA: tower skin





‘the reskinning technology could be easily applied to other buildings in need of a facelift such as the colliers wood building and the barbican centre in london and the post industrial abandoned buildings across hong kong. we can quickly and cheaply enhance their performance and aesthetics through this minimal intervention.’


sustainability is at the heart of the project. innovations include: – existing solar energy used to off set energy requirements – water collected from the atmosphere – energy peaks removed via ‘microclimate’ in tower envelope – natural convection draws conditioned air through existing rooms, vent to the exterior to generate energy – localized user control of air and temperature – standard computer designed and generated components manufactured off site and cutting edge digital workflow mean cost effective fabrication and installation time – a solar powered light and media strategy embedded into the fabric

LAVA: tower skin

LAVA: tower skin

LAVA: tower skin the UTS tower skin during the day

LAVA: tower skin

LAVA: tower skin view from above

LAVA: tower skin ‘reskinning’ applied to goulburn st parking, in sydney


plans for ‘tower skin’ are on display at ‘state.respond’ exploring sustainable design object gallery, sydney now until 28th march, 2010

  • thanks Antix for caring….. just think the scheme lacks any detail, when you watch the video structure and connection point is a bit of a joke, then the natural ventilation, coolling bit also doesnt work, and besides a couple of buildings in sydney this actually works as a beacon and to wrap it in some non imaginative skin, ruins a good representation of brutalist architecture.

    just question why young practices publish poor projects like this, it doesnt help there reputation.

  • Hmm…Im concerned about ‘concern’. I think he/she is a tad over critical and not a happy blogger!!! : )

  • “international architectural firm LAVA has developed a simple, cost effective, easily constructed skin that promises to transform aged 1960’s buildings in Sydney, into sustainable, iconic buildings.” . . .

    Went to website and blog and could find no info on stated “skin”. Therein lie many querys. Looks adventurous and would certainly change the look d;-)

  • i take it you are all easily impressed first year students!!!!!

  • what happens to natural ventilation??

  • Really, really ahead of its time. Far too bold of a visual.
    The energy saving aspects of this design are amazing though.

  • I agree with you Anthony….the UTS building is a horrible eyesore, so I commend any attempt to disguise its ugliness!
    So no need for ‘concern’….to be so concerned!

  • I’m from Sydney and I know these buildings firsthand…they really are an eyesore for this pretty city. The architects have done a great job with this structure to give the tower some character, I hope it goes ahead.

    Anthony R.
  • you can put lipstick on a pig…

  • bad first year project


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