Sydney's 'ugliest building' gets a high-tech bag over its head

The University of Technology Sydney Tower in Australia, an old slat-stack from the '60s, has the dubious honor of being that city's "ugliest building" — a fact that isn't very well hidden on the university's own website. In an effort to showcase both the beautifying and beneficial effect of sustainable design, the architects at Australian-based LAVA have proposed the "Tower Skin," a photo-voltaic sack that would update the ol' UTS clunker with today's greener standards.

The Tower Skin would, besides collecting solar energy, collect rainwater, improve the amount of natural light that gets into the building and use convective energy to help with ventilation. Oh, and it also lights up at night and looks downright purty.

It's all conceptual, though it's an interesting study on how we could improve existing buildings from the outside-in, rather than having to tear them down or rip their guts out. Check out more of LAVA's Tower Skin in the gallery below. (Or, if you happen to be reading this from Australia, you can also see the Skin in person at Sydney's Object Gallery until 28 March, 2010.)

Architecture and Design, via Inhabitat