by Devanshi ShahMar 30, 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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)