Garden city: Dragonfly-shaped skyscraper could feed Earth’s booming population

By Claire Bates
Last updated at 2:48 PM on 22nd May 2009

A dramatic vertical greenhouse shaped like the wings of a dragonfly could revolutionise farming in cities around the world, according to its architect.

The bizarre looking 600m tall building was designed by Belgian designer Vincent Callebaut and would be based on Roosevelt Island in New York.

Spread across 132 floors it would provide urban farming space with enough room to raise cattle and poultry and 28 different types of crops.

There would also be space for housing and offices with walls and ceilings used to grow kitchen gardens. Each level would be cultivated by the residents.

vertical farm

The vertical farm is shaped like the wings of a dragonfly. It would be self-sufficient in water, energy and bio fertilizing.

The Dragon Fly has two central towers arranged around a huge greenhouse that are linked together via two wings made from glass and steel.

It would be heated using solar energy in winter, which would harness the warm air between the wings. In summer it would be kept cool using natural ventilation and evapo-perspiration from the plants.

Exterior vertical gardens would filter rain water that would then be mixed with domestic liquid waste. After organic treatment it would be recirculated for farm use.

dragonfly building

Paradise found? Residents of the 132-floor building would grow crops and cultivate kitchen gardens

vincent callebaut building

Belgian firm vincent callebaut architectures have designed a vertical farm

Mr Callebaut is known for his eccentric designs. His most recent plan featured a self-sufficient floating city in the shape of a giant lilypad.

While the Lilypad was designed to cope with rising sea levels in the future, the Dragonfly was conceived to deal with a world food shortage as the human population continues to boom.

‘The worldwide urban population will go from 3.1 inhabitants in 2009 up to 5.5billion inhabitants by 2025,’ Mr Callebaut explained.

‘The ecological city aims to reintegrate the farming function on the urban scale in the use and reuse of natural resources and biodegradable waste.’

Vincent Callebaut dragonfly building

The revolutionary farm would completely redraw New York’s skyline

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