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Dragonfly Villa: A marvel inspired by Dune’s ornithopters

ISTO architectural studio unveils a stunning Dragonfly villa on Arrakis, inspired by Dune movie’s ornithopters

Dragonfly Villa: A marvel inspired by Dune’s ornithopters

Taking cues from the Dune movie and its iconic ornithopters, ISTO architectural and design studio, with Ukrainian roots, has unveiled a stunning new custom-made Dragonfly villa spanning 2,500 square metres on Arrakis. The main concept behind this masterpiece is to seamlessly divide the living space into two wings, mirroring the graceful movements of the ornithopters in the film.

Filmed predominantly in desert locations near Abu Dhabi, the Dune movie immerses viewers in the harsh landscape of Arrakis. ISTO’s architects, recognising the influence of Middle Eastern cultures on the Dune world, incorporated Dune motifs into an object located in Dubai’s La Mer area. This fusion of artistic visions pays homage to the rich Arabic inspirations that shape the iconic Dune universe.

Frank Herbert describes ornithopters as “Aircraft capable of sustained wing-beat flight in the manner of birds” in his 1965 novel Dune. In an interview with IGN, the director Denis Villeneuve says, “I was dreaming to have that shape inspired by a dragonfly, that would be muscular and feel realistic, and close to the spirit of a helicopter. It was important to me that all the vehicles obey the laws of nature, gravity, and physics, and that they do not look like fantasy vehicles, but something closer to science fiction, to science, and all grounded in the book.”

ISTO lead designer Anton Yaroshenko says about a conceptual approach to the Dragonfly villa, “The design inspiration lies in mimicking the structure of the dragonfly wings. The long and flat roofline and this architectural silhouette of two open wings seamlessly cope with this crucial task. Lighting installations, metal decorations on the facade, wall-mounted pergola of the inner part of villa fully unveils the characteristics of intricately veined, membranous wings that have coloured markings.”

The natural principal materials are metal, highlighting a manoeuvrable and sharp architecture, stone and glass, standing the test of time, as well as plaster and water. Striking views of the sea and Burj Khalifa are an extra privilege that is ever present through imposing glass façades. These substantial floor-to-ceiling windows frame the landscape whilst also guaranteeing that the interiors are flooded with natural light.

 “A significant emphasis is devoted to the villa’s surrounding landscape. Water features are positioned around the entire perimeter of the Dragonfly and depict the brutal, accurate and well-balanced architectural contours in the reflection. Complementing the futuristic accents, I would like to pay special attention to the water sculpture in the right villa wing. The stream of water grinds the plane of stones and simulates a deceptive feeling of teleporting to the universe of Dune,” adds lead designer Anton Yaroshenko.