Australian architect Contreras Earl has revealed its design for a second “vertiport” in Merlbourne. This will handle flying taxis at Batman Park and follows an earlier design for the city’s Caribbean Park.
The project, which is being developed in collaboration Victorian developer Skyportz and UK architect Pascall + Watson, plans to replace the park’s helipad with a purpose-built station for flying electric taxis.
The site is one of 400 identified by Skyportz across Australia that could accommodate vertiports. Some of these would involve retrofitting existing buildings and multilevel car parks.
Skyportz expects that the first electric air taxi will be certified to take passengers by 2024.
As well as the drone-like taxis, the Melbourne structure will be a hub for electric scooters, bikes and ferries.
The terminal has a modular design that will be fabricated with recyclable aluminium. The building’s lightweight components can be packed into shipping containers and assembled on site. This allows the configuration to be customised for a wide range of locations and scaled for mass production.
Contreras Earl said it was aiming at a “sleek, sculptural and organic” look for the modules. Rafael Contreras commented: “We believe architecture and technology should evolve together. By using advanced software, robotics, materials and construction processes, we are liberated from traditional building practices and forms, and free to explore more creative, avant‐garde ideas.”