The new drone transport will change the way we perceive buildings. The project proposal intends to demonstrate innovative approach to drone transport integration with existing buildings in urbanized areas. Adding superstructure on the top of skyscraper might be the best location for skystation (drone station). It can become a trend-setting discovery, which can be implemented on several buildings with flat roofs along city skyline. Multiplication of the skystation might create a sky transportation network.
To visualize this futuristic, near future idea we used 3ds max with Corona engine for a raw render. The image adjustments and matte painting was made in Photoshop. To create graphics and illustrations we helped ourselves with Illustrator.
How did you come up with the idea for Skystation, and is this project feasible and scheduled to be built?
It all started around a year ago (2016) We were discussing the U-ZONE concept with our friend Grzegorz Herzberg /founder of AIRBORN – academy for drone pilots/. It was around the time when AMAZON, UBER and AIRBUS revealed their visions for future development. We’ve all agreed that there will be a revolution. A big one, happening in many fields and in many places simultaneously. Lack of new infrastructure will be one of the basic problems. We saw Skystation project as a chance to discover something new, without recreating the history. As the future is happening before our eyes, we realized that discussion about drones in the city should start now.
Your project description says that drone robots would be building the structure. Why are they the best device to perform this task?
That’s true. It’s another starting point for discussion. We’ve noticed how rapidly robots are taking over humans works. Everything indicates that building industry will also take part in this change. It might be the answer to the need of increasing the quality of working conditions and people’s safety on height.
Given that the core of this project is sustainability and sustainable construction solutions, why do these devices match this description?
Using those kind of drone robots might shorten the material delivery time from the local suppliers. It will substitute the land transport delivery, which consume too much energy and in some cases emits too much CO2. Another innovation we can find on the Skystation façade. The stainless steel panels will be sprayed with the perovskite. This photovoltaic solution, invented by polish physicist Olga Malinkiewicz, might be implemented on almost every surface. What is more, sprayed perovskite solar cells are cheaper and much more effective than standard solar panels.
Do you think this ‘futuristic’ approach raised in this project will be a reality that we’ll see in our cities anytime soon?
We are sure it is a matter of time. It’s actually happening right now in Dubai. First drone taxis are planning to be launched. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=83&v=a5Q2W0r5e-s)
Is the use of drones widespread in architecture? If so, in what stages of design, construction or monitoring are employed?
By know use of drones in architecture is not popular. Architecture goes together with the technology and reflect the needs of society. When the opportunity to fly by drone appears, the architecture will need to adjust to the realities.
Aside this project, do you have experience handling drones yourself?
Yes, we collaborate with AIRBORN – academy for drone pilots.
Are these devices fully automated or they still depend on humans to operate them?
At the very beginning those devices will depend on humans, however we believe they will be fully automated and programmed in the near future.
Do they have limitations in terms of the materials they can carry, or any other tasks related to design, monitoring or construction they cannot currently perform?
We are not working on the drone devices and their specifications. Our aim is to design the infrastructure for them by connecting technology with the users by creating architecture.
Architecture is a field where technology has a big impact, with the use of programs like BIM, or others. Has the implementation of automation changed or improved the profession in any way?
In our opinion this might create a new profession in building industry. Programing robots specifically for construction site.
Jakub Figel, Filip Kurasz