Barcelona, Spain (2010) – A water reservoir in Barcelona received a high tech exterior in 2009 called the BALANCE TOWER. Part of a pumping station built by ATLL, a Spanish water supplier, Balance Tower has a concrete core that spans 768 square meters which is covered in a mosaic of metal, photovoltaic cells, and 18,000 LED lights (powered by the photovoltaics). This “media skin,” developed by mediatechture company ag4, lights up at night with moving images and text across the dramatic architecture of the building. The photovoltaic cells capture sunlight during the day to power the LEDs , and the structure generates all the energy it needs to display the images.

The installation opened in November 2009 and is meant to highlight and explore themes concerning sustainable management and use of energy and water reserves. The LED-based animations evoke the natural water cycle of rain, water flow, and evaporation. Ruisanchez arquitectes and ATLL worked closely with ag4 to conceptualize and develop the tower.