There’s a lot of excitement around Hyperloop at the moment, with advances regularly announced around the world, including in Saudi Arabia and Nevada. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has now announced it plans to help bring the burgeoning transportation technology to Italy.
ZHA has teamed up with Hyperloop Italia to design new Hyperloop transportation infrastructure in Italy. The plans are quite vague at this early stage and a ZHA representative wasn’t able to confirm whether its involvement will be centered around the Hyperloop vehicles themselves, stations, or wider infrastructure, nor where it will be located. However, Hyperloop Italia has said one possible route could be between Milan and the Malpensa airport, reducing travel times between the two from 40 minutes to just 10 minutes.
The project is similar to other Hyperloop proposals and will consist of two low-pressure tubes that propel magnetically levitated cargo and passenger capsules measuring 20 m (65 ft) in length and 2.7 m (8.8 ft) in diameter at speeds of up to 1,223 km/h (760 mph) – though the actual speed may well end up being significantly slower. The energy to run it will come from renewable sources like solar power, with help from regenerative braking tech, and according to ZHA, the Hyperloop Italia setup will produce more power than it requires. Meanwhile, recycled materials will also be used to help build the required infrastructure, including stations.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with Hyperloop Italia; marrying transformative architecture, engineering and urban planning with the most efficient and sustainable transport network to significantly improve accessibility, connectivity, and well-being in our cities,” says Patrik Schumacher, ZHA Principal. “We share Hyperloop Italia’s multidisciplinary approach which combines innovations in design and operational technologies with advances in ecologically sound materials and construction practices; enabling us to deliver future-resilient projects that are spatially inventive, structurally efficient and environmentally sustainable.”
ZHA seems like a great fit for the project and has always been a forward-thinking firm with its use of parametric design and high-tech construction methods. It has lots of form for designing train stations too, and in addition to its completed Naples Afragola station in Italy, has three more on the way in Estonia, Russia, and Norway.
We’ve no word yet on when Italy’s Hyperloop project will begin construction, nor indeed when it will go into service, but will keep you posted.