Thursday, February 11, 2010
LAVA Laboratory for Visionary Architecture
Re-skin / More with less
What initially began as a speculative proposal to reshape the UTS tower on Broadway has evolved into a broader architectural idea for re-purposing inefficient or outdated buildings as an alternative to demolishing and rebuilding ( which comes with a huge financial and environmental expense) LAVA has developed a simple, cost effective and easily constructed building skin that can potentially transform the identity, sustainability and interior comfort of an existing structure such as the UTS tower.
The ‘skin’ is a translucent cocoon that can create its own ‘micro climate’. It can generate its own energy with photo-voltaic cells, could collect rain water, improve the distribution of natural daylight and it can use available convective energy to power the building’s ventilation requirements.
A pre-existing building is wrapped with three-dimensional lightweight, high performance composite mesh textile. Surface tension allows the membrane to freely stretch over a light steel frame around walls and roof elements achieving maximum visual impact with minimal material effort.
The skin with embedded LED strips could act as an intelligent media surface and be used for dynamic animation and to communicate information into the public realm – effectively integrating principles of architecture, fashion, media and communication design into a new hybrid typology.
“A re-skinned UTS Tower could be an example of sustainability, innovation, cutting edge design and creative education, without demolishing and rebuilding the 1960s icon,” says Chris Bosse, Director of LAVA. ”When it was built the Broadway tower was cutting edge, with latest building technologies and principles that have partially become obsolete.”
The reskinning technology could be easily applied to other buildings in need of a facelift such as the
The re-skin concept continues LAVA’s research into sustainable public architecture by combining lightweight contemporary materials with the latest digital fabrication technologies with the aim of achieving more (architecture) with less (material/energy/time).
All images and Photographs by LAVA
Laboratory for Visionary Architecture
Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, Alexander Rieck
Niklas Muehlich, Kim Ngyuen Ngoc, Anh-Dao Trinh,
Jonas Epper Stefan Bassing, Simone Martin,
Model with the great support of:
Andrew Southwood-Jones, Catherine Zhuang, Christen Meli, Alexander Kashin
animation by LAVA feat. time-lapse by Peter Murphy
Sustainability concept: Ross Harding from Advanced Environmental.
Structural advice: Prof Max Irvine
Membrane advice: Daniel Cook, Mak Max
Two giant digital origami tigers playfully celebrate Chinese New Year on the
forecourt of Customs House, Sydney from 11 February –14 March 2010.
The crouching digital tigers combine ancient lantern making methods with
cutting edge digital design and fabrication technology, bringing east and
west together through tradition and innovation.
The big cats are a collaboration between multinational architectural
practice Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) and Customs House
to mark the lunar year of the tiger and raise awareness about the
endangered status of tigers.
The tigers are inspired by “zhezhi”, a Chinese term for paper folding, more
popularly known by its Japanese name “origami”. Traditional Chinese
lantern makers in Sichuan province, where lantern making has been taking
place for over 800 years and local artisans were consulted.
The Chinese or Lunar New Year is the most important Chinese holiday and
starts with a Lantern Festival. The Chinese lunar astrological sign is the
metal tiger in 2010.
The tigers are the size of a boat at 2.5 metres high and 7 metres long yet
weigh only 200kgs and use fully recyclable materials, aluminium and
barrisol, a new light weight reusable stretch material. Pulsating low energy
LED lighting brings the sculptures to life.
Chris Bosse, LAVA director says: “The project continues LAVA’s mission in
lightweight structures to build MORE WITH LESS.”
“The tigers are part of an ongoing multidisciplinary program featuring
contemporary architecture, installations, photography and digital media
exhibitions in Customs House, ” said Jennifer Kwok, manager of Customs
Giant digital origami tigers
11 February – 14 March 2010
1 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia
Laboratory for Visionary Architecture Asia Pacific
Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, Alexander Rieck
Niklas Muehlich, Jarrod Lamshed, Erik Escalante, Esan Rahmani,
Anh‐Dao Trinh, Jonas Epper, Stefan Bassing, Simon Wenzel, Isabel Fischer
Sydney ‐ Stuttgart ‐ Abu Dhabi – Shanghai
Sydney Stretch Ceilings
Barissol, a new recyclable stretch material.
Jennifer Kwok ‐ Manager and Producer
Jennifer Kwok and Chris Bosse