Transport

MAD Architects imagines Hyperloop infrastructure as urban farms and green walkways

MAD Architects imagines Hyperl...
In busier areas, sections of the solar arrays atop the hyperloop system would be swapped out for green walkways for pedestrians
In busier areas, sections of the solar arrays atop the hyperloop system would be swapped out for green walkways for pedestrians
View 7 Images
We've seen a lot of technical exploration around how a hyperloop system might one day fling humans and goods across the Earth at the speed of sound inside low-vacuum tubes, but no much of the structural elements that would hold everything in place
1/7
We have seen a lot of technical exploration around how a hyperloop system might one day fling humans and goods across the Earth at the speed of sound inside low-vacuum tubes, but no much of the structural elements that would hold everything in place
Ever since the idea of a hyperloop first emerged in 2013, using renewables as a power source has been the name of the game
2/7
Ever since the idea of a hyperloop first emerged in 2013, using renewables as a power source has been the name of the game
Rendering of a HyperloopTT system by MAD Architects
3/7
Rendering of a HyperloopTT system by MAD Architects
HyperloopTT is casting its eye towards the future and exploring the idea of not just fueling its system with green energy, but how it could also give a little back in the way of sustainability
4/7
HyperloopTT is casting its eye towards the future and exploring the idea of not just fueling its system with green energy, but how it could also give a little back in the way of sustainability
HyperloopTT has teamed up with MAD Architects to imagine what the supporting infrastructure for tis system could look like
5/7
HyperloopTT has teamed up with MAD Architects to imagine what the supporting infrastructure for tis system could look like
In busier areas, sections of the solar arrays atop the hyperloop system would be swapped out for green walkways for pedestrians
6/7
In busier areas, sections of the solar arrays atop the hyperloop system would be swapped out for green walkways for pedestrians
Exploded view of the Hyperloop tube design dreamt up by MAD Architects
7/7
Exploded view of the Hyperloop tube design dreamt up by MAD Architects

We've seen a lot of technical exploration around how a hyperloop system might one day fling humans and goods across the Earth at the speed of sound inside low-vacuum tubes, but not much of the structural elements that would hold everything in place. Startup HyperloopTT has teamed up with MAD Architects to imagine what this kind of infrastructure could look like, putting forward a design that turns tube-tops into green walkways and pylons into urban farming centers.

Ever since the idea of a hyperloop first emerged in 2013, using renewables as a power source has been the name of the game. But apart from the initial Elon Musk white paper outlining the idea, which described arrays of solar cells covering the surface of tubes to power the system, much of the focus has remained on getting the propulsion systems up to speed.

And while there is some good progress being made, notably on the part of HyperloopTT competitor Virgin Hyperloop One which has had its full-scale prototype pod hit speeds of nearly 387 km/h (240 mph) in testing, there is a long way to go to reach the target of around 1,220 km/h (760 mph).

HyperloopTT is casting its eye towards the future and exploring the idea of not just fueling its system with green energy, but how it could also give a little back in the way of sustainability
HyperloopTT is casting its eye towards the future and exploring the idea of not just fueling its system with green energy, but how it could also give a little back in the way of sustainability

In any case, HyperloopTT is casting its eye towards the future and exploring the idea of not just fueling its system with green energy, but how it could also give a little back in the way of sustainability.

The design dreamt up together with MAD Architects calls for sets of concrete pylons to serve as the supporting structures for the steel and concrete tubes. These would be raised seven meters (23 ft) off the ground and the pylons would have a low footprint at the base to ease difficulties around land acquisition and traffic.

On ground level, the bases of these pylons would also be fitted out for urban farming purposes, with facilities integrated into the structures to raise crops. The idea is that urban farms would be entirely self-sustainable, helped in part by LEDs that line the tube above and provide a continuous source of light.

Exploded view of the Hyperloop tube design dreamt up by MAD Architects
Exploded view of the Hyperloop tube design dreamt up by MAD Architects

These LED strips could apparently also serve as information boards along the tubes and would be powered, in part, by bendable solar skin panels fixed to their top surface. Bladeless wind turbine farms would also be built strategically along the length of the hyperloop system to add to the energy mix, while in busier areas, sections of the solar arrays would be swapped out for green walkways for pedestrians.

While these kinds of concepts are certainly an interesting look at what a hyperloop system might look like, the technology is still some years away so they are better viewed is thought experiments rather than realistic interpretations of the future of transport.

As for how many years away exactly, well HyperloopTT has suggested it could welcome its first passengers aboard as soon as 2022. Last year it opened a dedicated test facility in France and unveiled its first full-scale passenger pod, Quintero One. It now says it is in the process of integrating the capsule for the first trials carrying people in 2020.

Source: MAD Architects

3 comments
Grunchy
Nobody believes in Hyperloop anymore. Ever since this fiasco was first dreamed up not, nobody has even begun to face up to the technological challenges. There’s no way to make a tube springy enough that it doesn’t buckle under thermal gradients, and stout enough to hold a full vacuum: not one single person is attempting to solve it. Instead of showing us computer renderings of fantasy, go and actually look at Hyperloop installations, they’re nothing but empty shells and zero ideas of how to solve literally impossible design challenges. The worst part, you reporters “gloss over” what’s really being described here: a bullet, traveling through a rifle barrel. If the tube wall distorts slightly, if the suspension system reacts improperly, if the tube leaks any air, you know what will happen? It’s like if a bullet jams in the barrel, the gun blows up; except in this case, the whole train ‘evaporates’, along with everything on board. Here, just see the F4 Phantom ‘disappear’ in a similar scenario: https://youtu.be/F4CX-9lkRMQ
ljaques
Sexy nice. I think they may move to pressurized vs vacuum tunnels, though, before this is all over.
buzzclick
Ya want people-moving fast transport? Go take a look at what they're doing in China. This Hyperloop tube conveyance contraption is a lemon in the making.