German architect to turn former gas cylinder into “knowledge centre”

German designer Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Lava) has won a competition to transform a former gas storage cylinder in Heidelberg into a "knowledge centre, tourist attraction and city icon".

The project will be powered by sustainable energy and be fully accessible to the public with city views.

The development is inspired by the "geometries of nature" with an inner shell coloured in different shades of blue wrapping round the building.

The outer façade contains tilted elliptical rings with "energy loops" circling the structure and rising to the top. A cable network between the steel rings forms the outer façade.

Around 20,000 diamond-shaped plates of thin stainless steel are attached to the meshes of a steel network using an elastic connector that allows them to twist up to 90° in the wind.

At 56m high, the complex will be one of the tallest buildings in Heidelberg and will contain a roof terrace with large staggered terraces and event spaces and a bistro. It will have a diameter of 26m.

Construction is due to start in 2017.

Images via Lava

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