5 Dallas Architecture Firms Unveil Futuristic Uber Skyport Designs » Dallas Innovates
Uber Elevate, the ridesharing hub’s air mobility arm, announced its plans in 2017 to launch a joint air transportation service called Uber Air. The goal is for air taxis to transport drivers through commercial flight operations in three launch markets by 2023: Dallas-Fort Worth, LA, and Melbourne, Australia. Now, Five architecture firms in Dallas are part of a group of designers who unveil their visions for “Skyports” – the future location where the flying Ubers would take off.
The Dallas-based companies are Beck Group, BOKA Powell, Corgan, Gensler, and Humphreys & Partners. Their designs were featured this week at the third annual Uber Elevate Summit in Washington, DC. A total of eight companies presented 16 new concepts for the Uber Skyport Mobility Hub 2023 at the Summit on Tuesday.
Dallas-based Hillwood – an early partner of Uber Elevate – also attended the summit, NBCDFW.com reported. This week, Hillwood announced its plans to create a mobility innovation zone on its AllianceTexas development, which could be a future place to develop, test and refine Uber’s advanced mobility technologies.
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It’s a market that is expected to be lucrative. “According to Deloitte, the air taxi market is expected to grow from 3.4 billion US dollars in 2025 to 17.7 billion US dollars in 2040,” writes Joann Muller for Axios, “and for Uber, which in the first quarter as publicly traded company lost $ 1 billion. ” This opportunity is hard to miss. ”
In Skyports, Uber Elevate passengers for intra-metro flights are loaded and unloaded on board their futuristic air taxis. Uber invited innovative architecture firms to imagine how these connected hubs could be integrated into the urban landscapes of the three start metros.
Architects have a responsibility to redefine the world in ways that don’t already exist, said John Badalamenti, director of design at Uber Elevate, in a statement. “This collection of Skyport Mobility Hub concepts creates a practical, sustainable vision for the infrastructure needed in the communities we want to serve,” he said. “These designs represent a synergy of purposes and orchestrate a seamless transition between ground transit such as Uber POOL and eVTOL aircraft on the asphalt on the roof – and at the same time contribute to the surrounding neighborhood.”
Here’s a look at the concepts behind each company in Dallas:
THE BECK GROUP
With Dallas as inspiration, Beck’s design encourages the use of pre-fabricated materials that allow for more efficient, timely, and cost-conscious construction. Its wing-like shadow structure and the unique elevator housing make it recognizable as Uber Skyport.
The structure consists of modular plug-and-play elements that can be added to existing structures and converted into active skyports.
Beck Group is affiliated with Factory Blue, an off-site manufacturing facility in Fort Worth that is revolutionizing the way designs are delivered and projects created. The wavy wing shadow structure of the design, elevator casing, and sky lounge are items that can be made at Factory Blue.
“Our design is inspired in part by pre-built components that can be shipped straight to a project location, and offers a real design-build solution that will one day bring this innovative concept to life,” said Tim Shippey, Associate Principal of Beck Group . Who presented the concept at the summit said in a statement.
The Dallas company has selected two locations in North Texas, Downtown Dallas and Frisco.
Downtown Dallas is located near Victory Park. The company envisioned it as a retrofitted parking garage, adding the Uber arrivals, passenger spaces, and take-off and landing areas to the existing structure.
A place with a lot of available land, Frisco meets the real needs of commuters who live in the suburbs but travel downtown for work. BOKA Powell said the suburb is an opportunity to explore the intended goals of having Skyport as the core of an “Uber Village” with vibrant retail shops on every corner and an Uber Experience Center to educate users about the technology.
BOKA Powell’s designers focused on leveraging Uber’s ride-sharing technology and leveraging the various Uber brands to ensure seamless connectivity in dense urban areas. The company said both plans include many sustainable innovations, such as photovoltaic fabric with the Uber logo, which straddles the top-level shadow structure and reflects the designers’ concept of “Flow”.
“The Uber Skyport Mobility Hub, unveiled by BOKA Powell Architects, celebrates our evolving experiential society by bringing fluidity and transparency to the process of reinventing air travel,” said Andrew Bennett, BOKA Powell’s chief design officer.
Uber Re-Vision in downtown Dallas
BOKA Powell’s Uber Village in Frisco
Corgan’s concept, which was developed for Dallas, is called CONNECT | DEVELOPED. The design includes restaurants, grocery stores, sports fields and coworking spaces as well as space for bike and scooter sharing services.
“In prioritizing feasibility, Corgan realized that mass adoption of this new modality would require the development of traditional concepts of connectivity,” Corgan director John Trupiano said in a statement. “As a scalable design that blends seamlessly with existing infrastructure and takes account of its environmental impact, our design consists of a set of parts that can be customized for a variety of budgets and locations. This adds popular amenities and creates a lifestyle with off-the-air mobility and connectivity. ”
Parks and fountains would serve as assets for surrounding neighborhoods, the company said. CONNECT | EVOLVED is a system of modular, customizable components that are built according to “Urban Air Mobility Requirements, Site Requirements, and Development Budget”. The modular design allows additional landing and parking areas to be added as demand increases, but with little additional development.
HUMPHREYS & PARTNER
Humphreys & Partners Architects said it envisions a skyport that looks like it is floating in the air, supporting eVTOLs, micromobility and retail stores. The concept aims at a skyport that is inherently intuitive and easy to navigate. This means that passengers need less than a minute to get from the ground floor to the asphalt – “an impressive record for any travel company,” says a press release.
Uber called for two draft plans: retrofitting the parking garage for the central business district and a greenfield structure to support the outskirts. Humphreys & Partners’ designs called “Volary” are planned for the metros that Uber Air plans to use, including Dallas.
For the greenfield design, Humphreys created an “ethereal 80,000 square meter sky deck that seems to float” for a location in Frisco. For the retrofit design, Humphreys suggested a location in downtown Dallas that reuses a 7-story parking structure that takes up approximately 70,000 square feet. The facade, made up of acoustic panels and moving kinetic shingles that respond to the environment, lets sunlight and sunlight to rain to filter through as it adjusts to the flow of wind.
“Our approach to developing an on-demand ride-sharing center is based on the idea that less is more,” said Walter Hughes, chief innovation officer, in a statement. “This idea motivated us to create a highly intuitive passenger experience, integrated into a structure that is easy to set up and use, while strengthening Uber’s brand identity.”
Facial recognition, which includes new technologies, will increase security in the Skyports, and Smart Glass will protect travelers from the heat during the day and deliver real-time data with news, weather and travel information in two elevator shafts. Experiences within the terminal include moving sculpture and modern art.
“As we build for the future, keeping our environment clean and protected is our top priority,” says Hughes. Skyports include “revolutionary materials” such as self-healing bioconcrete and kinetic floors that generate energy from steps. In addition, solar energy and rainwater are harvested and converted into electricity.
“While the primary purpose of Volary is to serve as a transportation hub, Humphreys has maximized the opportunity to create a simple, sustainable and intuitive core that unites communities and creates personal and unique experiences,” the company said.
Frisco Greenfield Design by Humphrey & Partners
Dallas Retrofit Design by Humphreys & Partners
Gensler unveiled his design concept at the summit earlier this week, saying his mission is to use design to “shape the future of cities”.
The design was created with Los Angeles and Dallas in mind. The design, named CitySpace, shows what the company will call a “realistic approach and rapid adoption” for these cities in 2023.
The Gensler team created two concepts that share common elements, such as: B. the retrofitting of existing buildings and a tailor-made basic solution. It would tie a neighborhood together as a nexus for shopping, eating, and gathering, which could help ease congestion across the city.
All photos courtesy of the companies.
Additional coverage from Alex Edwards and Quincy Preston.
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