Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Finding the Form of the Future

By Tim Shotts

When your architectural program requirements can take any form, what will that form be?  Or, when there are no requirements, what will the form be?  In a world where personal rapid transit becomes the dominate form of ground transportation, busses no longer need to exist, nor will taxis or light rail.  PRT capsules will pick you up at your origin;, transport you speedily to your destination, whether that be the grocery store, an office building, a vacation destination, hospital, or airport.  But when the station is no longer a mandatory destination, should it be an optional destination?  The very minimum requirements for a dual-mode PRT would be a place to transition from the guide-way (either subterranean or above ground).  Combining a PRT system, automated vehicles, and high-speed tube-transport, it’s feasible that the terminal – or station – could be replaced with any address you type into your smart phone – or any location you are.  For instance, you could make a request for pickup while in line at the grocery store, and five minutes later, a PRT capsule is waiting for you at the store, heads to the nearest tube access point, and zips you to your next destination.  This brings us back to the original question;  What does an access point look like if its only purpose is to spit out and suck in PRT capsules?  If the model of a transit station is endangered, is there a better use for the land?  Perhaps it should be a public space with the PRT capsule entrances and exits and not necessarily be a place that is inhabited by people. 

Circulation diagram of PRT capsules
My design for a dual-mode PRT capsule

For your enjoyment, here are some photos of architect designed vehicles.
Le Corbusier       
Buckminster Fuller
Zaha Hadid
Renzo Piano

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