in the world of design and technology, professionals are all discussing how people of the future will get from point A to B. there is plenty of talk about autonomous cars and hyperloops, but not quite as much on vertical infrastructure. excitingly, london based firm PLP has been examining how we navigate our environment on all scales. they question how skyscrapers, and the technology that defines them, can be improved to facilitate change and efficiency. PLP architecture’s in-house think tank has proposed a novel way of traveling up a skyscraper and perhaps left and right too, putting forth a concept coined as a ‘sky pod’.

sky pod
sky pod has the potential to liberate architects from rigid plans
all images courtesy of PLP architecture

 

 

the PLP-designed ‘sky pod’ sits on a track, which allows it to go whichever way the architect or user requires. it would be fair to describe it as a sort of hybrid between an elevator and a roller coster. the exterior infrastructure lets you twist and turn along the building’s surface for a ride that’s a few levels more exciting than contemporary elevators. what’s more exciting is that this technology is within our reach. the sky pod features an innovative propulsion platform based on maglev technology — a system of magnets that simultaneously pull and repulse. with this multi directional and adaptable new system of navigation, the commute upward will become a fun adventure to start and end the day. 

sky pod
a sample skyscraper featuring the pods activates the night sky

 

 

PLP hopes that a new elevator system will liberate skyscraper design which is limited by the rigidity of classic elevators, whose design has changed little over their successful 150 year career. the firm claims that ‘if current skyscrapers often feel monolithic, self-contained and sometimes indifferent to their context, sky pod will allow for new types of buildings that, despite their height, are holistically integrated with the grain of the city around them’.

sky pod
on the left is a theoretical tower with skypod technology 

sky pod
the architecture becomes like a living organism 

sky pod
a architectural model designed with the sky pods in mind

sky pod
mapping the routes of the skypods

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