Yesterday, at the first edition of the HyperSummit in Utrecht, UNSfutures revealed their vision for the modular, sustainable and accessible Hyperloop Hubs: the European Hyperloop stations of the future.
Designed as a series of tessellating components, the hubs can adapt to a range of contexts: city-centre, city edge, or joining to existing infrastructure hubs like airports. Existing contexts of course mean existing parameters, and the modularity of the design means that Hardt Hyperloop Hubs can knit into any context.
The first edition of the HyperSummit was focused on urgency, research and joint effort, with collaborators and investors speaking about the contributions needed to launch a European hyperloop connection. Special attention was also paid to the kick-off study of the Hyperloop Implementation Programme (HIP): a study which looks at implementation questions relating to a potential future Amsterdam-Frankfurt Hyperloop line.
“The hyperloop is not only a realistic and viable alternative to flying, it is going to revolutionise travel. It will provide extremely fast travel times with direct connections between cities, enabling completely new ways of working and spending our leisure time, which in turn will lead to a multitude of economic, environmental and knowledge exchange benefits.”
Within the Hub, a series of tessellating components adapt to a range of contexts: city-centre, edge of city or adjoining an existing infrastructure hub, such as an airport. Existing cities of course have existing parameters, and we envisage a symbiotic, modular relationship with the local environment. Modularity is what makes this system scalable, resilient and adaptable to existing conditions. It blends into the existing built fabric whether above or overground in dense inner city neighbourhoods or in low-rise settings. From platforms to functional spaces and to the roof which extends out over the transfer hubs, a modular design framework organises and connects all parts.
Form, Function and Speed
At speeds between 600 and 1000 km/h, the Hyperloop can travel at the same speed as airplanes, but deliver passengers right into the heart of cities, connecting passengers immediately with other forms of sustainable transport.
For the Hyperloop Hub however, this speed opens up new opportunities for programmes within and around the Hyperloop Hub. By collapsing distances between producer and consumer we can create shorter food supply chains: super-fresh, high quality produce, picked or caught the very same day can be delivered right into the city-centre. This creates the basis for daily markets to emerge around and within the Hyperloop Hub. The ramifications for logistics also means that Hubs could become urban centers for circular and shared economy initiatives. As for knowledge transfer, the Hubs can establishing a network of mobile learning spaces that connect established institutions, drawing them closer toward one another. Spaces of work will also naturally coalesce around hyperloop stations, as hubs become natural meeting spaces for busy workers. We can also envisage benefits in medicine – the transportation of grown organs or bio based transplants where time is a crucial factor in saving the life of someone in need.
To accommodate this wide range of potential uses, flexible modules can hold different functions, from the purely pragmatic luggage check-in, parcel pick up point or bicycle dock, to daycare for busy parents or small biophilic pocket parks for kids and adults.
A Station Powering a Region
‘In the very near future, buildings will function as batteries, providing energy not only for their own immediate needs, but also for surrounding public amenities and transportation modes.’
Global urbanisation, population growth and urgent environmental concerns create infrastructural challenges that cannot be resolved with our current modes of transport. A sustainable alternative to air travel is therefore imperative.
Just as each Hyperloop line will draw power from solar panels on the tube, each Hyperloop Hub must also act as a battery to sustain itself. The roof canopy provides daylight, protects passengers, ensures climatic balance, and harvests energy and water. Surplus energy produced at the transfer hubs and along hyperloop’s tubes would power the autonomous vehicles, buses and bicycles which passengers can switch to in order to complete their journey. The station then regulates the highs and lows of the solar-powered system, as well as its internal environment through high-performance materials that respond to changing heat, light and humidity levels within.
The First Route
The Hyperloop Implementation Programme (HIP) is a programme of Hardt Hyperloop that looks at implementation questions relating to the Amsterdam-Frankfurt project.
Their research shows that, among other things, a route between Amsterdam and Frankfurt is 450 kilometres long, and with seven intermediate stations the journey takes about 50 minutes. This is in contrast to the four hours lost when regular transport is used. With this route alone, more than 4.3 million inhabitants could be served, and on an annual basis, the hyperloop could carry more than 48 million passengers. The hyperloop would offer a sustainable alternative for the approximately 2 million aircraft passengers on an annual basis, saving 83,690 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Learn more about Hardt Hyperloop here.
Article courtesy of UNStudio