It has always been challenging to design for urban environments when it comes to renewable energy. Lack of open space, noise concerns, and close quarters eliminate many of the standard solutions such as wind turbines. However, Swedish architectural studio Belatchew Arkitekter is proposing an innovative new concept to bring renewable energy into the big city. The Strawscraper, a 16 story addition to Sder Torn tower in Stockholm, could generate energy with the help of even the smallest breeze through the use of piezoelectric technology.
Piezoelectricity works through the compression of specific crystals found inside the straws that coat the building. By covering the outside facade in millions of plastic bristles, not only will energy be created every time the wind blows but it will add a unique, ever-changing look to the building. The architects state: “What is usually considered to be the most static of all things, the building, suddenly comes alive and the construction gives the impression of a body that is breathing.”
This project also fulfills the original intentions of Sder Torn architect Henning Larsen. Originally planned to be a 40 story high residential tower, 16 stories were cut from the building causing Larsen to quit the project. This new addition would return the tower to its intended height and even include a lounge, restaurant, and full panoramic lookout platform all while generating clean energy.