Build Earth Live has announced an international ideas competition to ‘speed design’ a new Hyperloop route connecting Dubai with Fujairah (Deadline: 25 September)
The contest is open to architects, engineers and designers, and is sponsored by Dubai’s Future Foundation and its Road and Transport Authority which is planning to construct a Hyperloop – an innovative high-speed transport system.
Participating teams will have 48 hours – from 26 to 28 September – to draw up plans for innovative passenger terminuses at Dubai and Fujairah, two of the UAE’s seven emirates.
According to a statement from the contest organisers: ‘The competition exists to showcase how new technology is revolutionising construction.
‘Teams are tasked with joining together in collaborative work using building information modeling (BIM) technology. The event will focus in particular on the design of station terminuses within the context of Dubai and Fujairah.’
Unveiled by Space X and Tesla-founder Elon Musk three years ago, Hyperloop technology aims to transport passenger capsules in pneumatic tubes at up to 1,190 kph.
A prototype is being trialled by start-up company and contest sponsor Hyperloop One in the Mojave desert, 56km north of Las Vegas.
BIG, AECOM and Arup were announced as architectural partners for the project earlier this year. Multi-million Hyperloop systems are also planned in central Europe and Scandinavia.
Dubai’s elevated Hyperloop network is expected to reduce travel times between the two cities – which are 105km apart – to less than 10 minutes.
Build Earth Live organiser and Asite chief operating officer Nathan Doughty commented: ‘This is a particularly exciting Build Earth Live event because the winners may well see their design implemented as part of the world’s first commercial Hyperloop.’
The full brief and site details will be published in interoperable formats immediately before the contest starts, with participating teams free to use any compatible technology to develop their designs.
Concepts will be uploaded to a cloud-based BIM collaboration site where visitors will be free to comment.
Six finalists will travel to Dubai for the judging and awards. While there are no cash prizes, the overall winning team is expected to work with Dubai’s government to deliver the ambitious scheme.
How to apply
The deadline for registration is 25 September
256-260 Old Street
Tel: +44 2077497887
Visit the competition website for more information
Adelaide to Brisbane Hyperloop case study: Q&A with Chris Williamson
The partner at Weston Williamson + Partners discusses lessons learned designing a conceptual Hyperloop connecting Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane in Australia
Weston Williamson + Partners
Why is high-quality architectural design crucial to the success of any Hyperloop project?
All our experience from the Jubilee Line station at London Bridge onwards has shown that great design encourages use of public transport. The system needs to be safe, comfortable, reliable and economical but good design is key to success.
The travelling public need to feel good about their journey. The increase in travel by public transport has gone hand in hand with investment in good design both at home and abroad.
What key challenges have you discovered so far for architects of Hyperloop stations and terminuses?
The work being done thus far connects cities directly. You would not for example stop at Sydney if you were travelling from Melbourne to Brisbane. This would defeat the object of saving time. Travel would be direct. City to City. Non stop. Two systems are currently being considered 400km/hour without vacuum and 1000km/ hr with vacuum.
The key to designing the stations is loading passengers quickly. Passengers would board into their seats along with any baggage and the seats would then be loaded into the vehicle. It would be incompatible with the speed of the system to have passengers boarding the vehicles at a leisurely pace. Having said that it would still be an exciting and pleasant experience.
How would you go about creating an architecture suitable for Dubai’s Hyperloop?
The Dubai proposal is, I believe, a freight-based system. Hyperloop is suited for connecting long distances whereas the Dubai proposal is relatively short. It seems to be a high-cost solution to a problem of how to connect two container ports. Bearing in mind these containers have travelled at a slow speed by boat to reach Dubai, the need for them to travel at 1,000km per hour between container ports could be questioned. Like any new technology, it has to be used properly to gain acceptance.