Hardt Hyperloop

UN Studio is at the apex of modern-day architecture. A Dutch firm with offices all around the world, this group of architects was founded by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos. Employing architects and designers from many countries and fields of experience, UNStudio is motivated to redefine the modern city with a human-centric approach. Their main objective – applied through all of their projects – is to create a flexible design that seeks to anticipate the challenges of the future while focusing on the psychological and social behaviors of people in collective spaces. 

With the ambitious design of the Hardt Hyperloop’s proposed Amsterdam station, this human-centric philosophy will be applied to the futuristic engineering of tomorrow: a high-speed, ultra-effective, and interconnected net of metro travel spread throughout the European Union. This vision has not yet taken on a fully realized form, but it is in their part of this massive undertaking that UN Studio is slowly helping to build a new concept for European travel.

Hardt Hyperloop by UN Studio - Sheet1
Hardt Hyperloop_©unstudio.com

Future-Proof Design 

Throughout the EU, multiple large-scale train stations already connect the different countries. In the Netherlands alone, several new modern train stations are being built to accommodate the demand for rail lines. While these contemporary stations are equipped with reasonably fast trains and amenities, they are not nearly on the level that UNStudio’s Amsterdam Hardt Hyperloop station hopes to achieve. The project is a futuristic vision, part of a group of European Hyperloop stations in simultaneous development. 

Hardt Hyperloop by UN Studio - Sheet2
Utrecht Centraal_ ©Jannes Linders

The planned Amsterdam station will be designed to blend seamlessly with the city. The team characterizes their design as featuring a “symbiotic, modular approach to integrating into the local environment.” This means this station will function as not just a train station, but as an integrated city hub, providing areas for business and recreation, while merging with existing structures in the city. The Hardt Hyperloop Amsterdam station will be composed of tessellating pieces, with a solar-energy collecting glass and metal roof that will extend around the transfer hubs, further solidifying its human-centric philosophy. 

Hardt Hyperloop by UN Studio - Sheet3
Hardt Hyperloop_©unstudio.com

The Hyperloop train is expected to travel at a speed matching that of airplanes, making scheduled stops in the center of cities, connecting travelers to other local transports. The Hardt Hyperloop Amsterdam station design includes preparations for what such high-speed transit will provide, such as areas for receiving and distributing loads of fresh produce and other goods that the Hyperloop can deliver (thus reducing supply chain issues). This is not the only socioeconomic function the station has prepared for; the loop will bring cities closer together, and a new network of connected places of work will emerge with the loop at its center. As such, the Hardt Hyperloop will function as a micro-city within the city; the design for it includes flexible and modular spaces that will serve multiple purposes, from luggage and produce storage to business and conference centers. UNStudio’s station design is centered around the needs of the people who will use it and how to provide for those needs effectively and efficiently. The human-centric philosophy of this project is ever-present. 

Hardt Hyperloop by UN Studio - Sheet4
Hardt Hyperloop Modular Concept_ ©unstudio.com

As UN Studio is preparing for the future, building the buildings of tomorrow, the ecological impact of their work remains of utmost importance. The technology behind the Hyperloop will make possible land travel at incredible speeds. Yet the energy required to operate it will be derived from solar panels, operating as a self-sustaining system. For this purpose, the roof area of the Amsterdam station design contains photovoltaic panels, and the slope down of the structure will guarantee the accumulation of rainwater for the station’s use. It is the hope of these human-centric architects that the station will have periods of surplus in energy gathered, which can then be passed on to the city. 

Hardt Hyperloop Energy Diagram_ ©unstudio.com

Even though this project is still in the making, it has taken some promising first steps. The creation of our future has emerged with the technology of today. The Hardt Hyperloop project is proving to the world that environmental concerns are human-centric, not isolated to certain regions or people and that these can be addressed with no loss in aesthetic quality or material requirements for its users. This project is preparing us for the potential collapse of other means of travel, without the conflict that is to be expected from such massive disruptions. Air travel, at least under our current means, is extremely harmful to the environment. Overcrowding in modern cities is a growing problem, especially evident after the 2019-2022 global Covid pandemic, and car transportation in cities is becoming more burdensome each passing year. Thus, an underground line of hyper-fast trains becomes a radically hopeful alternative, and with it the possibility for architects like Ben van Berkel and his UN Studio group to come up with innovative ideas that test the limits of modern design and materials. They have given us a lot to think about with their response to this brief, both architecturally and socially. 

References:

UNStudio. (n.d.). Hardt Hyperloop. [online] Available at: https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/11735/hardt-hyperloop.

hardt.global. (n.d.). Hardt – Home. [online] Available at: https://hardt.global/.

Images:

  1. UNStudio (2018) Hardt Hyperloop [online] Available at: https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/11735/hardt-hyperloop
  2. Linders, Jannes. Utrecht Central Station [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/801731/utrecht-central-station-benthem-crouwel-architects#:~:text=During%20the%20design%20phase%20Jan,as%20a%20natural%20way%20finder.
  3. UNStudio (2018) Hardt Hyperloop [online] Available at: https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/11735/hardt-hyperloop
  4. UNStudio (2018) Hardt Hyperloop Floor Plan [online] Available at: https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/11735/hardt-hyperloop
  5. UNStudio (2018) Hardt Hyperloop Energy Diagram [online] Available at: https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/11735/hardt-hyperloop
Author

G. C. Reyes is a classically trained artist and architecture student from Miami, Florida currently working in New Jersey. She enjoys 3D printing and design and thinking about the architecture of the future. Some of her favorite artists include Louis Kahn, Steven Holl, Marina Abramovich, and Leonard Cohen.

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