WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
New ideas and concepts, such as the Hyperloop, are sometimes hard to grasp, so being able to visualise them, and how they would work in society is often crucial to their final success.
Late last year, Hyperloop One who recently ran their prototype Hyperloop at 192 mph on a test track in Nevada, announced a list of design partners that included Aecom, Arup, and Bjarke Ingels Group. Now, RB Systems, which was a finalist in the SpaceX Hyperloop One Pod Competition, has released a speculative design vision for a Hyperloop station and passenger pod. The spatial and programmatic concepts are largely experimental though because, as of yet, there are no precedents for this type of futuristic building, although that can’t be said for one of their competitors designs which looks like it will be used as the basis to build out Dubai’s new Hyperloop station when construction starts in 2021.
Due to the rapid projected turnover rate of a 1 pod per minute, RB System’s design demands a high degree of automation, a carefully considered sequence of spaces, and a well developed circulation plan for the pods to perform their many operations in a short time. Rustem Baishev of RB Systems proposes solving this challenge with a difference in levels: once a pod enters the station, it is carried on tracks to a platform, after which passengers and luggage unload; finally, an elevator lifts the pod to an upper level, where it is prepared for departure. All these manoeuvres would be operated by an automatic dispatching system. A concrete rail shift inside the station will help to streamline this sequence and serves to dictate the station’s overall layout.
The interior of the station is intended to celebrate and generate excitement for the new technology. The space is, therefore, expansive, brightly colored, and filled with light, while adopting space-age aesthetics. A user-friendly wayfinding system includes easily visible timetables, spacious waiting halls, and a transparent service block. The proposed structural system is an experimental space-truss assembled from fiberglass; PV cells are molded into the glass assembly to block excess solar heat.
Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame first proposed Hyperloop, a tubular transit system that relies on magnetic levitation technology to transport passengers at over 700 mph, in 2013, and the specific machinery and safety strategies to be implemented in RB Systems’ proposal remain to be resolved.