Bjarke Ingels, the starchitect behind the Durst Organization’s 57th Street pyramid and designs that were floated for 2 World Trade Center, may have caught his most cutting-edge assignment yet.
Ingels’ firm BIG has been tapped to partner with Hyperloop One, a U.S. company looking to build the world’s first hyperloop, on a feasibility study that could lead to the construction of the ultra-fast train in Dubai.
The hyperloop is a train that moves through a tube kept at a thousandth of the normal atmospheric pressure. The technology eliminates air resistance, which is one of the biggest obstacles to traveling at high speeds. The new train would take passengers from downtown Dubai to downtown Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes, a trip that normally takes two hours.
“We don’t sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time,” said Hyperloop One’s president of engineering Josh Geigel.
The project is based on the ideas of billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk, who has long been a champion of the hyperloop.
As part of the feasibility study commission by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, BIG will design the portals that move passengers and the pods.
“With Hyperloop, city planning can happen far from the city centers as physical distances are virtually eliminated,” BIG Partner Jakob Lange said. “And we are not waiting for new technology to realize it. We have everything we need.” — Katherine Clarke