Student Saul Ajuria Fernandez for his master’s degree project at the University of Alcala in Spain has envisioned the Urban Droneport as an essential civic building of the future, according to architecture website ArchDaily.
Located in what Ajuria has identified as a “disused urban vacuum” in the Spanish capital, the Urban Droneport allows and optimises the transport of goods with remotely piloted aircraft systems in urban areas. In other words, drone-delivered packages.
The project is said to be exciting for many reasons with Ajuria hoping that by designing something that is not completely here yet, it shows how architecture
can be an engine of development and innovation.
Also exciting for architects is the fact that it provides a glimpse into what could be an entirely new typology of building.
With drones becoming more affordable and more precise, their widespread use in cities is increasingly becoming realistic.
Ajuria’s proposal for a drone delivery centre is a serious example of an urban opportunity and may just provide the seed for the development of a new typology.
While it might currently be complex to envision drones flying alongside pigeons, this sort of architectural accommodation for new technology has been seen before.
A universal example of this is the train station. It is commonplace now but in the 19th century, the challenge of designing a building that catered for the stopping and starting of trains, alongside passenger needs, was something never been approached before.
Like a droneport, train stations are a place of interaction between the mechanical (train or drone) and humans.
In the Urban Droneport project, as the building’s location is noisy and polluted, the drone hangars form the outer layer of the building. The control space becomes the focus of human habitation, cushioned from the unwanted conditions outside.
Ajuria places the droneport location in Madrid’s South Node, currently an unused urban site connecting directly to a highway. This allows fast connection with the transit centres of delivery companies.
With this, drones are able to use the arteries of highways just as vehicles do. It also allows the project to be easily adapted to other highway locations.