Uber Air, a forthcoming service from Uber that will use flying eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) taxis, currently has a planned launch of 2023 in cities like Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne. The air taxis will pick up and drop off passengers at Skyports located around those cities.
Recently, at Uber’s 3rd Elevate Summit, Eight architecture firms unveiled their design concepts for the first fully considered and technically feasible Skyports that would be built for the 2023 commercial launch of Uber Air. Each firm designed a parking structure retrofit concept and a new bespoke concept.
The concepts were all designed to support busy, multi-modal operations facilitating both ground and air transport. In addition to space for aircraft operations, the concepts also include space for electric bikes and scooters, EV charging infrastructure, and a connection to public transit.
The top design from each firm, with a concept blurb from the firm, is listed below.
The Beck Group | Dallas Skyport
Beck’s retrofit concept focuses on combining an existing seven story parking structure with pre-fabricated components, like the undulating cloud canopy, unique elevator enclosure, and sky lounge. The Dallas Skyport facilitates eVTOL take off and landing as well as space for bikes, scooters and electric vehicles. The Skyport features a 6,000 square foot lobby as well as a 2,000 square foot sky lounge at the top for travelers to wait for their departing aircraft.
Boka Powell | Urban Re-Vision
BOKA Powell’s concept is inspired by transparency and fluidity with a design that emphasizes the ‘flow’ and joy of human flight in an overly dense urban area. The bold and recognizable architecture hosts space for eVTOL take off, landing and parking as well as electric scooters, bikes and vehicle charging. Their concept looks to layer Uber brands together to provide seamless connectivity that celebrates the experience of travel.
Corgan | Connect | Evolved
Corgan’s new concept, CONNECT | EVOLVED, is a practical system of modular components inspired by creating a cohesive relationship between the human, the eVTOL, and the urban fabric. The design adds vital connections with a mix of restaurants, grocery, sport courts, and facilities for entrepreneurship; hosts several last mile modalities; and sustainable features including a solar skin, flooring to harness kinetic energy, and heliostats that harvest and redirect sunlight under highways and Flight Deck.
Gensler | Cityspace
Gensler’s CITYSPACE new concept represents tomorrow’s mobility, today. CITYSPACE is a community destination and connection point that welcomes people at the beginning or end of their journey, while dramatically reducing parking impact on the city. This Skyport concept becomes a pivotal piece of the urban fabric, binding the neighborhood together with a central place to shop, dine, and engage while reducing congestion across the city.
Humphreys & Partners Architects | Volary
The Volary is a new concept that pays homage to the pursuit of flight with a structure that is designed to look as if it is suspended in the air. The vertical atrium is constructed of tinted, sound-absorbing Smart Glass, providing a modern look focused on sustainable energy and functional ease. Volary hosts facilities for supporting eVTOL and JUMP operations as well as bikes, scooter and electric vehicle charging and more than 9,500 square feet of retail space.
Mithun | SkyPark
Mithun’s new concept focuses on the greater community, incorporating transit connectivity, sustainable performance and neighborhood placemaking with an expansive public amenity at ground level. Their design leverages pre-fabricated parts to support eVTOL take off, landing and turntable parking as well as spaces for bikes, scooters, EV charging and more than 2 acres of community park.
Pickard Chilton and Arup | Sky Loft
Pickard Chilton and Arup’s retro-fit design is driven by their deep commitment to stewarding the natural environment. The Sky Loft 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. The 3,700 square meter Loft facilitates eVTOL take off and landing as well as hosting a Skyport lounge and facilities for JUMP bikes and scooters as well as retail.
SHoP Architects | Arc
SHoP’s Arc concept looks to reclaim the past eras of flight: the magic embodied in the idea of effortless movement. The roof’s form and feel captures the elusive wonder inherent in air travel while also doubling as a platform for integrated photovoltaics, generating energy to offset the power demands of the facility. The Arc is a greenfield design that facilitates 72 eVTOL round trips per hour with space for electric bikes and scooters, as well as electric vehicle charging and supporting operations.