By Karen Cilento, May 2009
Amidst financial buildings and high-rise apartments, Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut has redefined the conventional skyscraper. His 132 story complex for the south edge of Roosevelt Island addresses the pressing need for environmental and ecological sustainability. This conceptual design focuses on creating a completely self-sustaining organism that not only utilizes solar, wind, and water energies, but also addresses the pending food shortage problem.
More after the break.
The mixed programs in Callebaut’s Dragonfly are centered around two main towers. These symmetrically arranged towers allow growth to expand vertically rather than horizontally to account for the crowded Manhattan conditions. A sprawling greenhouse links the two towers and helps carry the load of the building. The complex is arranged in a way that housing units and work offices are interspersed between meadows and farms.
The metal and glass wings, directly inspired by the exoskeleton of a dragonfly, house the plant and animal farms. Due to the appropriate sun and wind conditions within these wings, proper soil nutrient levels can be achieved to maximize plant growth. Exterior vertical gardens filter rain water, and once that water is mixed with domestic liquid waste, both are treated organically in order to be reused for farming needs.
The space between the wings accumulates warm air from the exoskeleton to heat the complex during the winter, while natural ventilation teamed with plant evapo-perspiration will cool the air during the summer.
Callebaut imagines the occupants of the Dragonfly caring for its vast fields, thus allowing each user the opportunity to make the complex a success. Although Dubai seems like the perfect place for such an experiment, Callebaut has not given up hope that New Yorkers can also pave the way during this sustainable era.
Seen at Designboom.