Proposals have been unveiled for a European hyperloop, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed the first Starbucks in the Asia Pacific region to be built from recycled shipping containers, and Mercedes-Benz has features sustainably produced vegan materials.
UNStudio has unveiled proposals for a European hyperloop which would provide a sustainable and emissions-free alternative to air travel between major cities.
The Dutch architectural practice used the first edition of HyperSummit, which took place in Utrecht, to reveal a grand vision for the continent, beginning with a route between Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
Rail passengers typically take four hours to travel the 450 kilometres between the two cities but hyperloop technology – propelling passengers in magnet-powered capsules in a vacuum tube at speeds of between 600 and 1000 km per hour – would reduce this journey to only 50 minutes.
UNStudio believes the key to the project is the design of modular hyperloop hubs which would act as batteries for solar energy produced by each station.
The company states: “This could bring about a shift away from dependency on centralised power plants and towards energy storage that connects to local micro-grids.
“Surplus energy produced at the transfer hubs and along hyperloop’s tubes would power the autonomous vehicles, buses and bicycles which passengers can switch to in order to complete their journey.
“The station then becomes a battery which regulates the highs and lows of the solarpowered system, as well as regulating its internal environment through high-performance materials which respond to changing heat, light and humidity levels within.”
UNStudio founder Ben van Berkel added: “The hyperloop is not only a realistic and viable alternative to flying, it is going to revolutionise travel.
“It will provide extremely fast travel times with direct connections between cities, enabling completely new ways of working and spending our leisure time, which in turn will lead to a multitude of economic, environmental and knowledge exchange benefits.”