Companies from Amazon to Facebook have bet on drones as the aerial vehicles of the future. But many locales lack the appropriate infrastructure to support the day-to-day management of hundreds of zooming devices. Enter architect Saúl Ajuria Fernández, who, as part of his master’s degree in architecture at Universidad de Alcalá, designed a solar-powered drone hub for Madrid called Urban Droneport.
The futuristic dome-shaped Urban Droneport could allow companies to radically optimize package delivery. Spherical hangars allowing drones to take off with ease populate the outside of the droneport, while the interior would accommodate a logistics center and State Institute of Technology Development. Since the building would be close to three separate parks – Tierno Galván, Madrid Rio, and Lineal del Manzanares – the first floor of the Urban Droneport has been raised up so people could stroll around the base and connect to the different parks.
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Any futuristic design worth its salt incorporates sustainability, and Fernández’s design is no exception. In his description of the Urban Droneport he said prefabrication and modularity are two principles central to the design. “We opt for a metal structure with dry joints which allows both the assembly/disassembly and its expansion or modification. The building is modulated so that the details of its construction are solved with only one of its twelve slices,” Fernández said.
Renewable energy would largely power the Urban Droneport; a system in the hangar doors could actually gather solar rays to provide almost as much energy as the building would need. A courtyard in the center of the Urban Droneport would facilitate natural lighting.
While the Urban Droneport is designed for Madrid, Fernández said it could be easily adapted for other cities. He also said not only could the drone hub be used for package delivery, but also for drones ferrying medical supplies.
Images courtesy of Saúl Ajuria Fernández and Matternet