Mind & Matter


Tower to Grow Own Skin

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Geotube proposal, Dubai. Image by Faulders Studio.


Dubai has provided significant support for ambitious architectural projects, but a new generation of works marks the progression from the implausible to the inconceivable. A new building proposed by California-based Faulders Studio, for example, is designed to grow its own facade.


Called the “Geotube,” the tower will be erected as a large superstructure with a pump-fed salt deposition system. Using salt from the high-saline content Persian Gulf, the tower cladding will emerge over time—transforming from a lacy filigree to a translucent white skein. According to architect Thom Faulders, “The result is a specialized habitat for wildlife that thrives is this environment, and an accessible surface for the harvesting of crystal salt.”




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.