Sunday, 16 June 2019

Corgan Design for Uber Air Skyports Adds Third Dimension in Transportation

At the Uber Elevate Summit, Corgan, a leading architecture and design firm, revealed their concept for the Skyport Mobility Hub, a modular, connective, and sustainable infrastructure for Uber’s eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) flying taxis.


Corgan’s design, CONNECT | EVOLVED, is a system of components that enables speed to market, provides flexibility to scale operations, and can be customized as both a greenfield solution as well as a retrofit atop existing buildings and parking garages.

“In prioritizing feasibility, Corgan saw that mass adoption of this emerging modality would require evolving traditional notions of connectivity,” said John Trupiano, principal at Corgan. “A scalable design that seamlessly integrates with existing infrastructure and considers its environmental impact, CONNECT | EVOLVED is comprised of a kit of parts that can be customized for a variety of budgets and locations—adding popular amenities and creating a lifestyle of aerial mobility and connectivity.”

A meeting point for the community, the Connection Plaza contains amenities including retail and restaurants, hosts cultural and art events, connects to last mile transportation services with bike and scooter charging stations, and has parks and fountains to provide an asset to the surrounding neighborhood. To encourage a pedestrian connection on the ground floor, parking and charging facilities are moved below grade while dedicated vehicular access and Uber Pick-up/Drop-off zones keep traffic flows seamless.

The future of Uber Air


The Uber Lobby is the first touchpoint between the passenger and UberAir. There, reception services help passengers customize their experience while biometric ticket and security validation clear passengers in under one minute before they ascend to the Quick Queue Lounge on the elevated Flight Deck. Two touchdown and lift off pads and five eVTOL staging and charging stations on the Flight Deck efficiently and precisely choreograph the movement of eVTOLS as passengers move through dedicated pathways and transitions for safe and easy navigation.

Designed to integrate into existing highway networks, Corgan’s concept not only mitigates noise by taking advantage of existing noise corridors, but also repurposes these familiar, underutilized frameworks as community serving assets. Activating the areas around and underneath highways, the design connects communities with a light-filled amenity-rich landmark with last mile ground connections, bike/scooter stations, restaurants, retail, coworking and entrepreneurial makerspaces, and Greenlight Hubs to support Uber employees.

Scalable and Operationally Feasible


CONNECT | EVOLVED is a practical system of modular, customizable components to be built according to the demands for urban air mobility, needs of the site, and development budget. The modular design can be expanded—adding additional landing and parking pads, retail, and activity spaces with minimal additional development and providing for ease of construction with components that can be fabricated off-site.

The flexible Flight Deck is compatible with several eVTOLs on the market and can adapt to advancements in the evolution of eVTOL flight. Likewise, the design considers the maintenance and use of eVTOLs and regulation of low-altitude airspace to minimize intrusion on the community and infrastructure without impacting or prohibiting future development.

Connected and Convenient


The design integrates into existing transportation networks including FAA established “skylanes” located over major roads, rivers, and highways—mitigating noise in high density air traffic areas through established noise corridors and providing visual references for navigation. Accessible to last-mile ground connections such as electric scooters and bikes, on-demand fleet services, and light rail, the Hub anchors public activity as a community destination with a programmatic mix of restaurants, grocery, retail, sport courts, and facilities for local entrepreneurship. Where highways and railroads have previously divided communities, CONNECT | EVOLVED stitches together the urban fabric with a lasting community asset throughout the day and for multiple lifestyles.

Sustainable


The design utilizes innovative water management systems, air purification methods and on-site energy generation. Energy-use technologies include a “solar skin” and technology in the floors to harness kinetic energy of visitors. Publicly accessible greenspaces including parks, playgrounds and urban farms also reduce the heat island effect in cities. Injecting light under highways and the Flight Deck, an array of heliostat solar collectors reflect light below during the day and harvest sunlight to create soft, ambient illumination during the evening.

DFW Location/Site Selection


Corgan selected sites for their design in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, a primary launch market for Uber Air. As with many metropolitan areas, Dallas and its surrounding suburbs experience daily population fluctuations due to commuters and visitors moving between downtown and the suburbs. Downtown Dallas, bound by a series of highway barriers, has an opportunity to not only connect tourists but neighbors and residents that were formerly separated by dividing, intrusive infrastructure.

Navigating this multi-layered third dimension changes the function and expectations of our daily destinations, requiring the Skyport and emerging typology to support a cohesive relationship between the human, the eVTOL, and the urban fabric. Most importantly, it addresses the greater needs of the surrounding communities, striking a balance between benefits and disturbances to become a true neighborhood amenity—adding a new value perspective to our existing infrastructure and reconnecting our once divided communities.



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