Sweden based studio Belatchew Arkitekter proposed a concept for the transformation of the Stockholm skyscraper into a wind farm. The aim was to covering the building in thousands of electricity-generating bristles – the plastic straws would generate electric energy using piezoelectric effect.
Söder Torn on Södermalm in Stockholm is a 26-story high-rise, initially designed to be 14 floors higher. Therefore, the architects at Belatchew Arkitekter wanted to restore the building’s original proportions and proposed the extension, while exploring the new techniques for creating the urban wind farm. Covering the façade in thin straws can produce energy through movements, generated by wind. The success of this concept would open up the possibility of widely applying this kind of technique and would change the way we think of ways the buildings can actually produce energy, itself.
The architects were additionally interested in transforming the common notion about the facades, as static building elements, by proposing a moving spectacle, an undulating landscape which also happens to be productive. The constant change of the façade is further reinforced during the night with the lighting in changing colors.
The façade straws are made of a composite material with piezoelectric properties that turn motion into electric energy, due to certain crystal’s deformation which is further transformed into electricity. The technique is progressive and has several advantages when compared to typical wind turbines, since it doesn’t make sound and doesn’t disturb wildlife. What is also of crucial importance –the system functions at low wind velocity and a light breeze is sufficient for the straws to start generating energy.