The Hyperloop Desert Campus in Nevada is a rising oasis for the future of transit

The design by Begum Aydinoglu, Mariana Custodio dos Santos and Juan Carlos Naranjo proposes a self-sustained campus defined by courtyards and crisscrossing levels.

by STIRworldPublished on : Mar 11, 2021

The concept of Hyperloop first came into being after Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk proposed it in 2012. Ever since, several companies, irrespective of being a startup or a popular brand, have been constantly diving deep into the possibilities of this futuristic technology, which is capable enough to completely revolutionise the mode of transportation for the next two centuries.

The design responds to indestructibility and resilience found in the land form | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
The design responds to indestructibility and resilience found in the land form Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals

The team of Begum Aydinoglu (leading the architecture and design studio PadaLabs), Mariana Custodio dos Santos (architect at Zaha Hadid Architects) and Juan Carlos Naranjo (Co-founder and Creative Director, Left Angle Partnership) was accredited as one of the 30 finalists for the design of Hyperloop Desert Campus in the Young Architects Competition held in 2020. The architects took on the challenge to design a campus in one of the most sublime and reminiscent places on earth: The Mojave Desert. The site, positioned in close proximity to the Grand Canyon in southern Nevada, challenged them to conceptualise and generate an iconic building that would help pilot one the most advanced mode of transit while also constructing a ‘sanctuary of science’.

The main drive of the designed ‘Hyperloop Desert Campus’ are the elements of water | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
The main drive of the designed ‘Hyperloop Desert Campus’ are the elements of water Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals

The design proposes an inseparable fusion of the campus functionalities and the geomorphological conditions owing to the site being located in North America’s driest desert that stretches across four states (California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona) into an oasis. It also visualises a form effortlessly rising from the desert and evolving above ground around the four main courtyards that span along the four main programmatic units and two symmetric public and private spheres.

  • Building’s spiral form is inspired by the speed of travelling | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Building’s spiral form is inspired by the speed of travelling Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • The interior spatial arrangements are a collaboration between high-tech experience and rustic identity | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    The interior spatial arrangements are a collaboration between high-tech experience and rustic identity Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • A fluid and continuous design that is inviting to different users | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    A fluid and continuous design that is inviting to different users Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals

The four courtyards of the building represent the four oasis that reveal the imagery of water in the harsh desert landscape while also creating greenery through imposing palm trees. While the courtyards form the core intent of the project, the design is largely influenced by the speed of travelling. As per PadaLabs, the building’s design spirals up, inspired by the speed of traveling where large corridors loop around these oases, and crossing and interchanging levels resemble complex interchange highways in form and function. “The same spatial concept extends to the interior design: the campus conciliates the high-tech identity of the Hyperloop with the rustic feel of the natural space. The visitor and the worker are invited to travel in a journey of fluid continuous spaces, graduating from natural and digital feels, public and private spaces,” explains the studio based in London and Istanbul.

  • Conceptual diagram highlighting the self-sustainable layer | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Conceptual diagram highlighting the self-sustainable layer Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • Conceptual diagram highlighting the design inclusivity layer | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Conceptual diagram highlighting the design inclusivity layer Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • Conceptual diagram highlighting the design redundancy layer | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Conceptual diagram highlighting the design redundancy layer Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • Conceptual diagram highlighting the design integration layer | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Conceptual diagram highlighting the design integration layer Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • Conceptual diagram highlighting the design flexibility layer | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Conceptual diagram highlighting the design flexibility layer Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals

Inspired by the terrain of the Mojave Desert, the design embraces resilience and demonstrates it across five layers, with an aim to reinforce the site resources to independent, effective and sustainable usage. The first layer stitches the principles of independence and self-sustenance through the use of solar panels devised on the site, distribution of collected rainwater and recycled grey water to the building’s irrigation system and passive ventilation in the interiors through the loop form of the design. The inclusive nature of the design, flexibility, spatial management, and redundancy are other layers of resilience integrated in the project.

  • Symbiosis between the harsh landscape and high-end transportation technology | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Symbiosis between the harsh landscape and high-end transportation technology Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals
  • Four distinctive buildings are combined through an integrated and inclusive design | Hyperloop Desert Campus by PadaLabs | STIRworld
    Four distinctive buildings are combined through an integrated and inclusive design Image: Visualisation by Metrica Visuals

Being an on-going research and production project, it is anticipated as an unexplored horizon which will rewrite the next centuries of the history of transports and define travels in the future.

(Text by Nikitha Sunil, intern at STIRworld.com)

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