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Pickard Chilton Partners with Arup to Deliver New Uber Air Skyport Concept for Melbourne

A design concept for a new Uber Air Skyport imagined by Pickard Chilton,an award-winning architecture studio best known for its innovative and cutting-edge design of corporate headquarters and campuses, and Arup, a global design and consulting firm, was showcased at Uber’s 3rd Elevate Summit on June 12in Washington, D.C., where Uber revealed new designs for its future Skyports.

The designs focus on Skyportsfor the near future, showcasing concepts for both parking structure retrofitsas well as new bespoke facilities. These concepts represent the first fully considered and technically feasible Skyports for a 2023 commercial launch of Uber Air. Along with Pickard Chilton + Arup, seven other firms also showcased concepts at Elevate.

This year’s Skyports are designed to support busy,multi-modal operations facilitating both ground and air transport. In addition to designing for aircraft operations (known as electric vertical and takeoff and landing, or “eVTOL” vehicles), all the concepts also include space for electric bikes and scooters, EV charging infrastructure, and a connection to public transit.

The Skyport Mobility Hubs aredesigned tointegrate with the community, minimizenoise, embrace sustainable materials andminimize energy use.All the proposedconcepts are envisioned in cities where Uber Air has announced plans to launchits service,including Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia,the first international location for Elevate.

Building on the successful “Sky Tower” design collaboration from last year’s Elevate Summit, Pickard Chilton + Arup were exclusively engaged by Uber to design the “Uber Sky Loft,” for Melbourne. (Download the rendering and video of Pickard Chilton’s 2019 concept for Uber Elevate here). The proposed initial network includes the retrofit of an existing parking structure in downtown Melbourne linked to a bespoke greenfield solution designed for the Melbourne airport.The team premiered theirconcept design for the Sky Loft at the 2018 Uber Elevate Summit.

“While delivering elegant and high-performance buildings, our designs for the two Sky Lofts create a compelling and seamless user experience. The designs are sensitive to and respectful of their context while the Sky Lofts themselves are stewards of earth’s limited resources. It has been exciting to collaborate with Uber and Arup to create the Sky Loft – a realistic vision for intra-urban transportation in Melbourne,” said Pickard Chilton Principal Jon Pickard, FAIA, RIBA.

Pickard Chilton + Arup’s design is driven by their deep commitment to preserving and protectingthe natural environment through sustainable design. The Sky Loft concept is distinguished by its extensive use of a highlysustainable mass timber structure – easily sourced, renewable and manufactured off-site –to sequester tons of carbon while featuring the beauty of natural wood. Located within a short walk to other public transportation options, the 40,000 gsf (3,700 m2) Sky Lofts facilitate eVTOLtakeoff and landing, and host a Skyport lounge,facilities for JUMP bikes and scooters,and a retail experience.

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