In a call for a Sustainable New York City, Mayor Bloomberg stated:

“Given that buildings account for more than 80 percent of all municipal greenhouse gas emissions, constructing buildings with energy-efficient features is essential to reducing those emissions, and DDC plays a critically important role in that work.”

This is a great idea for new construction, but what about the rest of the old decaying buildings? The older buildings were built in a time when energy costs were low and the exterior walls were used less for energy performance and more for structural integrity. Should we tear those down and start over?

According to zerofootprint’s publication New Skin, New Hope for Old Buildings, starting over would cause a greater environmental impact due to the tons of waste material that needs to be discarded. After the building is demolished, the process of rebuilding still has to occur which can lead to a nearly equal amount of energy consumption. So what is a solution?

REskin. Technologies in design and materials have come a long way since the construction of those dusty buildings. Software manufacturers are developing products that can create dynamic cladding systems and the ability to evaluate their performance.

This challenge is to cleverly reskin a decaying urban building on the corner of Broadway and Reade St in New York City. Submissions can range from a focused investigation to an entire reskinning of the building. If the submission is a focused investigation, a wholistic application of the investigation must be represented. Submissions are encouraged, but not required, to incorporate sustainable technologies and strategies into the skin. The skin should be awesome, inventive, and buildable.

Assuming that the budget is not endless, each component of the skin should be “buildable.” As part of the submission, provide a brief fabrication method/proposal that clearly outlines what each component is made of and how it will be assembled. All final submissions must be in Revit “.rvt” format.



  • Manhattan, NY
  • Location: 289 Broadway



  • Design shall not restrict sidewalk circulation.
  • Design should conceptually enhance the building's performance and efficiency without the loss of views, comfort, and attractiveness. .
  • Design should creatively use/expand the repertoire of tools native to Autodesk Revit and its conceptual modeling environment.
  • Design should be beautiful!


Datasets (At the bottom of this post)

  • Revit 2013 model
  • Context Photos





Videos on Curtain Walls:



Built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), Autodesk Revit Architecture helps you to capture and analyze design concepts, and more accurately maintain your vision through design, documentation, and construction.



  • Zach Kron
  • Greg Schleusner
  • TBD
  • DesignByMany Community



  • Post editable documentation (3d) as 2013 Revit file (.rvt)
  • Post Fabrication/Construction Brief
  • Post images (optional)
  • Post diagrams explaining approach (optional)
  • Post video explaining approach (optional)



  • Submission July 9th 2012 at 11:59 pm (UTC/GMT -5)
  • Community Voting July 16th 2012 at 11:59 pm (UTC/GMT -5)
7 Responses, 2 Comments show comments
REskin - "D-namico"

The features that define this composition are definitely modularity, variability, dynamicity and personalisation, in order to obtain at the same time admirable results both on the front of energetics and aesthetics. In fact,...

Maria Grazia Sinopoli's picture Maria Grazia Sinopoli
Architetto 0


0 challenges 1 responses
6 comments show comments

The purpose of the skin is to create a buffer zone in the façade in order to insulate better the building. This skin protects also the existing historical façade from weather and outside conditions that damage its surface. With this...

m_rv's picture m_rv

TU Graz
0 challenges 2 responses
1 comments show comments
Balcony Shell

The Balcony Shell creates an environment that clings to the existing facade of the building.  As this building is landmarked, removing the facade of this building would be a loss of historical significance.  The shell protects the...

Michael Coffey's picture Michael Coffey

New York

0 challenges 2 responses
2 comments show comments
Glass skin

This proposal alludes to the concept of a glass skin clasping onto a vestigial temple.

The first layer of skin aims to protect from turbulent winds and veiling solar glare. The second layer is composed of light, it reignites the pride of...

Samuel Arsenault-Brassard's picture Samuel Arsenault-Brassard
BIM Manager / Designer 0

Martin Conboy Lighting Design
0 challenges 1 responses
0 comments show comments
Hexagonal Trellis Facade



This approach to the REskin challenge is to attach an additional glazing system to the structure that will provide insulation as well as function as a trellis.  The system consists of a series of repeated...

Vy Le's picture Vy Le

0 challenges 1 responses
1 comments show comments
Striped facade in the wind

The idea of the design is to preserve the original facades of a building and to enable it's higher energy performance. To achieve that the new glass skin is added. It creates an additional space as an thermal insulation layer which allows to...

Andrzej's picture Andrzej

0 challenges 3 responses
0 comments show comments
Denis Angelov's picture Denis Angelov

0 challenges 2 responses
0 comments show comments