new york-based architecture practice DFA has proposed an observation tower offering unprecedented views of the city from central park. the tower proposal doubles as a sustainable filtration system which would transform the jacqueline kennedy onassis reservoir into a non-toxic usable freshwater pond.

DFA central park tower
all images © DFA



the onassis reservoir is located near some of new york’s most important cultural institutions and provides a prime location for DFA‘s proposed tower. the underutilized 106-acre reservoir occupies one-eighth of the park’s total area and is 40-feet deep, with approximately 1 billion gallons of stagnant, contaminated water.

DFA central park tower
a glass oculus showcases the functional elements of the tower, with views both up and down



DFA’s innovative design proposes a smart, unconventional approach to repurpose the reservoir. utilizing highly advanced glulam (glue-laminated timber) technology, the 712-foot structure can be manufactured offsite and constructed in less than six months,  designed to cast minimum shadow on the park and nearby buildings. a vertical axis wind turbine would provide power to filter the water and move people without drawing from the grid.

DFA central park tower
the project would provide 360 degree unobstructed views of the city



‘this conceptual project pushes the boundaries of what we perceive is possible in a city as dense, historic and environmentally vulnerable as ours’, says laith sayigh, founder of DFA. the central park tower has the potential to be a model project for other cities aiming to fix existing infrastructure, build tall to capture views and elevate the urban public realm’.

DFA central park tower
the 712-foot structure can be manufactured offsite and constructed in less than six months

DFA central park tower
anchored to a base structure of pre-cast concrete elements the tower is stabilized by tensile cables

DFA central park tower
the proposal combines architecture, recreation, resiliency, and tourism

DFA central park tower
a wind turbine would provide power to filter the water and move people without drawing from the grid








  • Who cares for your smart tower right smack dab in the middle of Central Park. It is a beautiful natural landscape crafted and given to the citizens of New York City way back in the middle of the 1800’s. It is visited by 10’s of millions of visitors yearly to experience the beauty of nature while living in the midst of a highly congested and bustling city. Take your foolish tower to Shanghai or Singapore or Dubai. Enough said

    lightmaker says:

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