One trend in the construction and remodeling industry that’s becoming quite popular around the globe is creating new external skins, shields and tents for existing structures. As the world grows more ecologically aware, architects and builders are coming to the conclusion that not every new project needs to result in a new building. Instead, they’re looking toward improving the design and efficiency of older structures and making them more modern in appearance and functionality.
OFIS architecture of Slovenia has captured this idea beautifully. The company has proposed a tent-like structure that will help buildings remain intact and safe during earthquakes. The structure features a dual-tower hotel, shopping and apartment complex wrapped in a tent that changes with the seasons. OFIS presented the benefits of their creation at the Mercedes-Benz Hotel Tower Competition, an event intended to inspire innovative ideas for their new project in Armenia.
Now, admittedly, the project looks like what could happen if Spider Man and the Green Goblin had it out one last time, with the green web-like, free-formed tent encompassing one tall tower, a shorter tower and the void in between. While the web looks to be a structure in and of itself, in reality, it is the external mesh facade of a system of concrete columns and cores. The components work together to stabilize the structure in a very tectonically active part of Armenia.
Inside the metal mesh are two cylindrical towers that will house the hotel, apartments, restaurant, pool, spa, fitness center, business center, retail shops and parking garage.
The mesh supports the concrete system of the structure’s inner workings to help protect the building from tremors, and is topped with a roof of photovoltaic panels to generate some of its own energy.
Definitely a statement to the city of Yerevan’s landscape, the mesh was designed to have a seasonal change in appearance. It looks rather green in the warmer months due to plantings along the fence of the towers’ terraces, and whiter in the winter due to the lack of greenery and the presence of snow.
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