Petra Architects in collaboration with Papaioannou + Associates shared with us their proposal for the Piraeus Tower 2010 Competition in Greece. More images and architect’s description after the break.
The “tower of Piraeus”, a building left abandoned for years, dominates the port of Piraeus and remains a rather dry landmark of the cityscape so much for the citizens of the immediate area but as well for the travelers that approach one of the larger harbors of the Mediterranean. Our architectural Proposal aims to assimilate the building within the morphologically common urban fabric, to improve its overall energy output with the use of “intelligent and environmental friendly materials” but also to convey a channel of communication with the natural elements of its direct setting such as the sun, the wind and the sea.
The elevations of the Tower encounter winds of great intensity, due to the height and position of the structure, phenomenon that despite its importance remains unobserved and unexploited. In our Proposal we coat the elevations of the Tower with an external-constantly changing-skin, with its movement being choreographed by the speed and the direction of the wind. Thousand small surfaces from 100% recyclable material, supported from a metal frame substructure that spans throughout the Tower, flutter from the wind and transform its puff in a continuous and mystifying “sough”, sometimes subtle and at times stronger.
Noteworthy these surfaces are not decorative. Every single one is a thin semi transparent photovoltaic leaf that is connected with motion sensors. As the wind blows, reviving the elevations of the Tower, it is captured as well with the sun light by the leaves and both (wind and sun) are converted into energy that covers the relative needs of the Tower. Moreover, the translucence of the material provides shading; leaving simultaneously unhindered the view from the interior of the building and its working spaces.
The new “epidermis” of the Tower with its dynamic linings and its delicate movement expresses in a lyrical manner the evolving industrial character of the broader region of the harbor and calls for fresh and innovative ideas for its overall upgrade. Concurrently the final result will revive pictures from open sails of travelling boats and thus will ensure to the “emerging” Tower of Piraeus a harmonious integration in its urban landscape, energy autonomy, and mostly it will render the building as a Symbol and a distinguishable landmark for the first harbor of our country.