Our global population is expanding and urbanising in previously unrivaled numbers. Cities have to adapt to cope with the growing population, and find new solutions for sustainable growth and dealing with the hyper-densely distributed population. The skylines of future megacities will be made up by more high rises, often connected by multiple skybridges forming megastructures. Complete city blocks containing accomodation, recreation, offices and utilities will be confined within single grand formations. By creating multiple new horizontal planes offsetting the ground level, cities can expand their surface area creating more space for their communities. In general, more aspects of life will take place elevated above the ground.
This far future, visionary setting of the project intends to provoke thoughts and reflection about an urban lifestyle within a far more vertically oriented environment. The thesis also aims to paint a picture of a car free city hub where vehicles are bound to the vertical plane, and the horizontal plane is devoted to the community of the city. Whether it’s on the ground level or multiple stories up in a luscious “sky garden”, the horizontal planes belong to the people and are roamed by foot.
As the vehicle-type depicted in this project was ment to travel along infrastructure in the vertical plane, mounted to the exteriors of various megastructures and buildings, architecture was a key inspiration. Stark, planar surfaces, generous use of glass and perpendicular lines and patterns were some of the main takeaways amongst many others. The vehicle would however need some sense of movement to its aesthetic, and so “moving architecture” became the driving metafor for most of the project.
The aim for the aesthetic of the interior was a clean, non distracting space with a modern interior-like expression. A sensation of not leaving the building upon entry. Geometric shapes and smooth surfaces with an understated sense of premiumness, giving the vehicle presentability and an atmosphere of proffesionalism. Generous, large windows allow for energizing light and a view of the scenic cityscape. The interior should be a calm space, providing well needed moments of relaxation in shuttle rides during busy days.
The creative process began with ideation and brainstorming sessions, broad thinking later being narrowed down and evaluated before being further developed. It later also included analogue and digital sketching, 3D modelling and mockuping. After a direction had been decided on, it’s function, dimensions and packaging as well as aesthetic attributes were refined further, eventually resulting in the final design of the project.
After researching topics of future cityscapes, creating the future premise of the project and ideating and refining various ideas, the end result of the thesis is Vertal Hex. A maglev propelled shuttle targeting future businesses and megacampuses. Travelling along the walls of the interconnected mega-structures making up the future cityscape and company campuses, it allows it’s passengers to reach their destinations anywhere within the hub entering right at the floor of their destination.
The exterior facade panel is stark and planar and features an adaptable curtain system. It’s architectural aesthetic gives it a professional tone suitable for large companies. The inviting interior of the Hex is calm and reduced yet premium with an interior like aesthetic. With the atmosphere reminiscent of a business lounge, it’s representable in professional contexts and with clients. The soft lighting and occurence of plants make it a relaxing space for well needed moments of breathing out during work travel on busy days.