Is This What Urban Buildings Will Look Like In 2050?
Arup points to five main attributes: flexibility, sustainability, reactivity, community integration, and smart systems (including automated recycling). The building has a “dynamic network of feedback loops characterized by smart materials, sensors, data exchange, and automated systems that merge together, virtually functioning as a synthetic and highly sensitive nervous system,” it says.
Most futuristic of all, the structure is completely modular, and designed to be shifted about (using robots, of course). The building has three layer types, with different life-spans: a permanent layer at the bottom, a 10- to 20-year layer (which includes the “facade and primary fit-out walls, finishes, or on-floor mechanical plant.”) And a third layer that can incorporate rapid changes, such as new IT equipment.
The building of the future meets personal needs–“down to an individual’s genetic composition”; gathers information from the environment; and “reacts to contextual clues.” Introducing the design, Arup’s Josef Hargrave describes it as “able to make informed and calculated decisions based on their surrounding environment”, a “living and breathing” structure “able to support the cities and people of tomorrow.”
Maybe the future isn’t so bad, after all.