Pickard Chilton Partners with Arup to Deliver New Uber Air Skyport Concept for Melbourne
(New Haven, Conn. ) – A design concept for a new Uber Air Skyport imagined by Pickard Chilton, an award-winning architecture studio best known for its innovative and cutting-edge design of corporate headquarters and campuses, and Arup, a global design and consulting firm, was showcased at Uber’s 3rd Elevate Summit on June 12 in Washington, D.C., where Uber revealed new designs for its future Skyports.
The designs focus on Skyports for the near future, showcasing concepts for both parking structure retrofits as well as new bespoke facilities. These concepts represent the first fully considered and technically feasible Skyports for a 2023 commercial launch of Uber Air. Along with Pickard Chilton + Arup, seven other firms also showcased concepts at Elevate.
This year’s Skyports are designed to support busy, multi-modal operations facilitating both ground and air transport. In addition to designing for aircraft operations (known as electric vertical and takeoff and landing, or “eVTOL” vehicles), all the concepts also include space for electric bikes and scooters, EV charging infrastructure, and a connection to public transit.
The Skyport Mobility Hubs are designed to integrate with the community, minimize noise, embrace sustainable materials and minimize energy use. All the proposed concepts are envisioned in cities where Uber Air has announced plans to launch its service, including Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, the first international location for Elevate.
Building on the successful “Sky Tower” design collaboration from last year’s Elevate Summit, Pickard Chilton + Arup were exclusively engaged by Uber to design the “Uber Sky Loft,” for Melbourne. (Download the rendering and video of Pickard Chilton’s 2019 concept for Uber Elevate here). The proposed initial network includes the retrofit of an existing parking structure in downtown Melbourne linked to a bespoke greenfield solution designed for the Melbourne airport. The team premiered their concept design for the Sky Loft at the 2018 Uber Elevate Summit.
“While delivering elegant and high-performance buildings, our designs for the two Sky Lofts create a compelling and seamless user experience. The designs are sensitive to and respectful of their context while the Sky Lofts themselves are stewards of earth’s limited resources. It has been exciting to collaborate with Uber and Arup to create the Sky Loft – a realistic vision for intra-urban transportation in Melbourne,” said Pickard Chilton Principal Jon Pickard, FAIA, RIBA.
Pickard Chilton + Arup’s design is driven by their deep commitment to preserving and protecting the natural environment through sustainable design. The Sky Loft concept is distinguished by its extensive use of a highly sustainable mass timber structure – easily sourced, renewable and manufactured off-site – to sequester tons of carbon while featuring the beauty of natural wood. Located within a short walk to other public transportation options, the 40,000 gsf (3,700 m2) Sky Lofts facilitate eVTOL takeoff and landing, and host a Skyport lounge, facilities for JUMP bikes and scooters, and a retail experience.
About Pickard Chilton
Pickard Chilton is an international architectural practice noted for its expertise in the design of large, complex and often high-profile buildings including corporate headquarters, high-rise commercial office towers, hotels, and academic and health care facilities. The firm’s layered perspective informs all of its work, presenting clients with a sophisticated, knowledge-based approach that emphasizes design vision, integrity, a focus on client objectives, and exceptional service. Headquartered in New Haven, Conn., the firm’s recent completed projects include: the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; River Point in Chicago, Illinois; 1144 Fifteenth in Denver, Colorado, and Eaton House in Dublin, Ireland. Current projects include the Global Gateway Shinagawa and Y2 Projects in Tokyo, Japan; the Plieninger Straße 140 Development in Stuttgart, Germany; Norfolk Southern’s new headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia; Avocet Tower in Bethesda, Maryland; 2+U in Seattle, Washington; and, Canal Place for Dominion Energy in Richmond, Va. as well as commercial and residential developments in Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Please visit www.pickardchilton.com for more information.