photograph by Tom Fallon
Urban Plant v.1
New York

The realignment of human needs in self sustaining cycles that are economically, culturally and politically viable is one of the biggest challenges facing the world. The intensive integration of nature and new technologies concentrated in one system to create a highly self sustaining human and plant habitat and thereby reducing and producing energy is the challenge that URBAN PLANT addresses.

Population growth and technological developments are leading to an ever accelerating urbanization. Densely built cities are very effective in providing housing, transport, work and culture since they are shared by a large population. While providing numerous benefits, cities don’t provide food or energy for their population. Food production is mostly carbon based and needs to be transported into the city. It needs chemical fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery, food processing, packaging and transportation. URBAN PLANT integrates clean renewable energy and food systems into new and existing buildings and reduces carbon emissions.

URBAN PLANT provides a holistic approach to human needs and dwelling in an urban context. It integrates human needs of shelter, food, light & air, energy, community into a comprehensive self sustaining whole. Inherent in the design are perpetual food, energy and water cycles which are powered by the sun and wind. For example, through sunlight and photosynthesis plants grow, providing food. Green and human waste is composted. Methane gas from compost provides energy. All of this happens in proximity of one another reducing the need for transportation.

The site is located on the East River in New York just north of the Manhattan Bridge. Currently there is a big box store and an asphalt parking lot. The 50 story tower houses 400 apartments. There are communal spaces at mid height and a winter garden on top of building. The podium houses retail and is covered with a landscape, orchard, chicken run, bio swale, sport facilities, performance pavilion and reconnects the building and city with the East River.

The form is modelled to optimize direct solar access by minimizing extreme north facing facade, to evenly distribute direct sunlight and to reduce shadows cast by the tower. The tower is oriented to receive maximum sun exposure on the east, south and west.

A glass enclosed private terrace is located at each apartment and houses the vegetable garden that uses hydroponic system to grow plants year round. It produces abundant vegetables to provide a family of four with a healthy diet. The terrace also provides outdoor space, shades the building and thereby reduces the heat load on the building. Solar shading and operable windows provide the appropriate temperature for growing plants.
On the façade a light shelf with solar panels provides solar energy and projects light deeper into the terrace.

Energy is generated by wind turbines at the edge of the building where the wind speeds are the highest due to the prevailing winds and the shape of the building. Solar panels at every floor of the building capture sun light and provide shading in the summer.


feasibility study
schematic design
design development
bid documents
construction documents
contruction administration


Project Management

D+DS architecture office was founded in 2007 by Ellen Depoorter and Jeroen De Schrijver in New York.

The office has a holistic approach to architecture and design. The experience of the user, the connection to the local context and the impact on the environment are at the basis of each project. The design is generated through the vetting and playing out of different concepts which feed the design. We work in the spirit of enquiry, challenging preconceptions and testing conventions in collaboration with the client and consultants.

The concept informs the structure, shape, materials, the ecology and energy performance of the building and the relationship of the building to the urban environment. This holistic approach is augmented by a strong commitment to the clients we serve and to the public domain and the many users involved. A high degree of personal service, coupled with respect for the precious resources of cost and time, characterise our client relationships.

Our combined 25 years of experience ranges over a wide variety of scale, geographic location and program. The projects we work on range from urban projects to office towers, hospitality and residential projects, retail and work environments to art installations.

We are very passionate and committed to working towards a contemporary architecture that has a real impact on the environment, quality of life and economy and hence creates thriving sustainable communities. To this end, we have been developing URBAN PLANT, a model for a building that is fully sustainable. Not only does it operate on renewable cycles of energy and water, it also has a renewable food cycle through the use of hydroponic culture on site. URBAN PLANT is a work in progress and will be adapted to different situations.

Ellen Depoorter
Ellen graduated as Master in Engineering & Architecture. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and Registered Architect in Belgium. Before starting D+DS ao, Ellen gained a varied experience in several NYC architectural firms. She free- lanced with C3 developments, developing concepts for mixed use centers where Commerce, Community and Creativity converge. At Pompei AD, she was responsible for design and management of the "Urban Outfitters" account. At Rietveld Architects, she worked on new construction office buildings and a small townhouse development. At Poponcini and Lootens in Antwerp, Belgium, she gained experience in high end residential projects, both new houses and renovations.
She is also an established artist and has exhibited in numerous venues. For more information, visit 

Jeroen De Schrijver
Jeroen graduated as Master in Engineering & Architecture. He is a LEED Accredited Professional. Jeroen worked at Peter Marino Architect on high end residential, hospitality and retail projects. He also worked at Lee Timchula Architects and KPF, where he gained substantial experience in designing and detailing large multi use centers and skyscrapers, using sustainable principles and techniques. In addition, he was involved in designing new sustainable towns in China.


401 Broadway

Suite 2116

New York, NY10013

+ 1 646.265.2819

Capco Bold Rocket, London

D+DS architecture office just completed the new headquarters for Capco Bold Rocket in London. 

Urban Outfitters Stockholm

Urban Outfitters Stockholm, voted best Retail Store in 2006 by Retail Week

Capco Bold Rocket London
Capco Innovation Lab

Capco Innovation lab, New York, NY


Reebok Flash Pop Up Store

Retail Pop Up Store, New York

In collaboration with Formavision

Wafels and Dinges

Trucks and Cafes, New York

Beurre & Sel
Wafels and Dinges, Herald Square

Kiosk, 34th Street, New York


High End Women's apparel store, New York

Chanel at Barneys

Booth for Barneys New York, New York

40 Mercer

Apartment Interior Design, New York

In collaboration with Mor Stavit

House MdS

Private Residence, Halen Belgium

240E61 Townhouse

Townhouse Renovation, New York

289 Clinton Avenue

289 Clinton Avenue 

115 Willow Street

Interior renovation

40 Bond Street
245 7th Ave Lobby
Cue Art Gallery

Base piece for sculpture display, Diesel Denim Gallery, New York

In collaboration with Formavision

Armory Show Stair

Temporary stair at Armory Art Show, New York


Art Installation, Diesel Denim Gallery, New York

Moment of Impact

Sculptures, Marithe et Francois Girbaud Store, New York


Portraits of Immigrants, Governor's Island New York

In collaboration with Flanders House

Urban Plant v.1

Sustainable Residential Tower, New York

Urban Planter

Hydroponic Garden Sculpture



Mumbai Banyan


Living wall

Capco Bold Rocket Offices, London 

Capco New York

New Office Fit Out

Designed by Vincent Van Duysen Architects

54 Bond Street

Designed by Vincent Van Duysen Architects 

54 Bond Street Facade

Cast iron facade restoration

Chanel Store Hong Kong

High End Retail Store, Hong Kong China

While working at Peter Marino

Chanel Store New York

High End Retail Store, New York

While working at Peter Marino

DAKS store

High end retail store, London

While working at Graft Inc

Urban Outfitters Copenhagen

Retail Store, Copenhagen Denmark

While working at Pompei AD

Urban Outfitters Chicago

Retail Store, Chicago

While working at Pompei AD

Urban Outfitters Delamo LA

Retail Store, Delamo, Los Angeles

While working at Pompei AD

Costa Smeralda Yacht Club

Yacht Club, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

While working at Peter Marino

Xintiandi Hotels

Hotel Complex, Shanghai China

While working at KPF

JW Marriott

Hotel Complex, Las Vegas

While working at KPF

Javits convention Hotel

Convention Center, New York

While working at KPF

C3 centers

Multi Use Centers

While working at C3 Developments

Concert hall Brugge

Concert hall, competition, Bruges-Belgium

While working at Peter Eisenman

Hang bar

for Reebok Pop Up Store