The Dragonfly

The Dragonfly  is a project that sets up along the East River at the South edge of the Rooselvelt Island in New York between Manattan’s Island and the Queens’ district. It is a vertical farm that sets up sustainable organic agriculture based on the production according to the rhythm of the seasons. The Dragonfly aims to recreate food production managed by the inhabitants of its surroundings.

The Dragonfly is a project that suggests the dragonfly3prototype of an urban farm together with housing, office space and farming land, encouraging sustainable self-maintenance, renewable energy use and reuse of biodegradable waste. The tower superposes not only stock farming ensuring the production of meat, milk, poultry and eggs but also farming grounds, such as organic humus. The tower diversifies vertically the variety of cultivations and it becomes metabolic and self-sufficient in water and energy resources, as well as in bio-fertilization.

Architecturally, the tower is composed of two oblong towers symetrically arranged in pair between two crystalline wings, which are inspired by the structure of the dragonfly wings. Two inhabited rings buttress around these wings.

Some characteristics that set the Dragonfly apart are:

  • The organically chiselled exo-structure of the wings that accommodates the inter-climatic spaces for agrarian processes
  • The solar passive energy level accomplished by the «double layered» architecture in bee nest mesh (it accumulates the warm air in the winter in the thickness of the exo-structure, and cools the atmosphere through natural ventilation and by evapo-perspiration of the plants in the summer)
  • The energetically self-sufficiency of the tower as the South prow of the tower receives in all the heights of its curve a solar shield producing half of the electric energy needed for its functioning, and the other side is ensured by the three wind machines taking advantage of the dominated winds
  • The vertical gardens enabling filtration of the rain water and the effluents of domestic liquid waste of the tower inhabitants, where the collected waters undergo an appropriate organic treatment for its reuse in farming.
Internal structure

Thought between Manattan’s Island and the Queens’ district, and outlining the bank of the Roosevelt Island, the tower widens at each side of its basis to welcome two marinas along the East River and facilitate the distribution of this vertical farm production through the river to the heart of Manhattan. These two marinas also accommodate two huge aquaculture ponds dedicated to be reinjected in the hydroponic system of the Dragonfly tower.

According to the evolution of the urban agriculture enhanced by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) that has been realising since 2007 that the organic agriculture on a large scale would be able to nourish the planet, the Dragonfly project challenges the city of New York to rethink its food production. The Dragonfly as a vertical farm replies to this dilemma not only ecologically but also more intensively on non-extensive earth. – Vincent Callebaut Architect