The future of aerial ridesharing progressed closer to becoming a reality this week, as eight of the world’s leading architecture and design firms presented Skyport plans at Uber’s third annual Elevate Summit in Washington, D.C..
Of the firms that presented, the four Dallas-based companies include Corgan, Humphreys & Partners Architects, The Beck Group, and BOKA Powell. In addition, Gensler also presented its concept. Though headquartered in San Francisco, Gensler’s regional office is located in the historic Meadows Building on Greenville Avenue.
The presentations are a move toward a more tangible understanding of what the future of aerial ride sharing will look like once implemented, according to Uber’s Head of Design for Elevate John Badalamenti.
“With the first launch of Uber Air just a few short years away, this collection of Skyport Mobility Hub concepts establish a practical, sustainable vision for the infrastructure needed in the communities we plan to serve,” Badalamenti said in a release. “These designs represent a synergy of purpose, orchestrating a seamless transition between ground transit like Uber Pool and eVTOL aircraft on the roof tarmac – all while contributing to the surrounding neighborhood.”
The Beck Group calls their design the Dallas Skyport. The concept is intended to be built upon an existing seven-story parking structure, and will feature additional space for bikes, scooters, and electric vehicles. The facility will also include a 6,000-square-foot lobby, and a 2,000-square-foot sky lounge for passengers awaiting their departure.
Gensler’s concept, named CITYSPACE, is a mixed-use facility that incorporates shopping, dining, and travel into one experience.
Corgan’s concept, CONNECT | EVOLVE, is designed to be a mixed-used facility, including concepts for restaurants, grocery, sport courts, and facilities for entrepreneurship. Additionally, the design incorporates sustainability features such as a solar skin, flooring to harness kinetic energy, and heliostats that obtain and redirect sunlight under highways and the Flight Deck.
Humphreys & Partners Architects presented their concept, Volary, that incorporates a design intended to look as though it is suspended in the air. It features a vertical atrium made of a tinted, sound-absorbing Smart Glass, as well as 9,500 square feet of retail space.
The final Dallas firm to present, BOKA Powell, calls their concept Urban Re-Vision. The space will allow for aerial take-off, parking, and landing, as well as additional space for electric scooters, bikes, and vehicular charging.
Uber has a goal of launching commercial aerial ridesharing by 2023, with the initial three cities for service being Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne.