Freddie James


Growing Buildings
February 26, 2010, 2:34 pm
Filed under: 1, Eco Design

It may sound a bit creepy, but wouldn’t it be cool if buildings could grow their own skin? California-basedarchitecture firm Faulders Studio certainly thinks so. GEOtube, their proposal for Dubai is almost exactly like a normal building – except for the fact that it will have the ability to generate a web-like saline skin that spreads down the façade of the structure over time. Sounds like neighbors will always know where they can borrow some salt!

The city of Dubai is located close to Persian Gulf, which has the world’s highest salinity for ocean water, so the plan calls for the skin of the building to be made of salt (yes, salt!). Water from the Gulf would be transported to the GEOtube via a 4.62 km buried pipeline and misted onto the tower’s mesh substructure meaning that, in essence, it would be made of local materials.

When the water evaporates, salt deposits will be left behind forming the tower’s exo-skeleton. While this isn’t the most eco-friendly project (transporting the water through the tube undoubtedly uses a lot of energy), GEOtube is an organic, ever-evolving sculpture, the skin would serve as a place for local wildlife to hang out and, according to the architects, it would serve as an “accessible surface for the harvesting of crystal salt.” We’re not quite sure about that last part – would locals be knocking down parts of the building so that they could season their dinner?

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