Architect Ma Yansong-led MAD Architects have collaborated with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) on the development of an elevated, rapid transport system that will connect people and cities across vast distances in mere minutes.
HyperloopTT, an American research company, aims to deliver Space X and Tesla's CEO Elon Musk's 2013 breakthrough concept for future mobility by developing a low pressure, tube-based transportation system that will connect cities at hyper speeds to counter urban issues like overcrowding, traffic congestion, and pollution.
They commissioned Beijing-based MAD Architects to conceive a versatile pylon design as a structural support for the transport system that could easily be integrated across an array of environs, be it a bustling city centre, a rural farmland or a remote desert.
MAD’s design demonstrates how the artificial can merge with nature through a new urban infrastructure, that while transforming the future of travel, also has the ability to reshape the way we plan and use public space. – MAD Architects
MAD’s scheme minimises the physical footprint as the functions are lifted seven meters above the ground, thus eliminating possibility of collision with road traffic. Bendable solar panels outfitted within the tunnels power the Hyperloop itself, and LEDs installed along its surface function as interactive information boards. The predominant source of power are the blade-less wind turbine forests positioned at certain sections of the system that harness the vorticity of wind, reducing overall energy costs.
Sustainability reflects in the way the design integrates opportunities for urban farming, where the base of each pylon has been conceived to host crop-growing facilities. "The light energy sourced from the solar-powered LEDs allows the plants to be self-sustainable, forming a friendly, green environment – a truly organic infrastructure," says the design team.
Green pedestrian walkways, parks, and recreational spaces along and below the tunnel will further connect people with their own cities, thus challenging the norms of conventional transportation by revolutionalising the way we travel.