Architecture firm Belatchew Arkitekter has developed a concept design for a sustainable skyscraper that uses piezoelectricity to power itself. The Strawscraper, which the firm has dubbed ‘an urban power plant,’ is an extension of Stockholm high rise Söder Torn, with a new shell that produces energy via straws or piezoelectric fibers.
Piezoelectricity or the piezoelectric effect refers to the ability of some solid materials to generate an electric charge as a response to mechanical stress or vibration. The Strawscraper uses piezoelectric technology to harness power from wind energy. The straws covering the building can produce electricity through the movements generated by the wind.
Completed in 1997, the Söder Torn has 26 stories instead of the original plan of forty. Belatchew Arkitekter plans to extend the building to its originally-planned proportions and at the same time incorporate their plans of creating an ‘urban power plant’ of the future by covering the extension and the existing surfaces of the building with the piezoelectric fibers.
Aside from its energy producing factor, the straws also give the building an added aesthetic. According to the project page on the firm’s website, the movement of the straws makes the building look alive and appears to be breathing.