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Foster constructs prototype droneport at Venice Biennale

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Norman Foster’s charity the Norman Foster Foundation has built a full-scale prototype for a droneport at the Venice Biennale 

Located on the Arsenale, the project is the first to be built by Foster’s charity, which plans to build a network of the droneports across Africa.

They will be used to deliver medical supplies in areas that are difficult to access due to lack on roads of other infrastructure.

Its first, pilot project is set to be built in Africa and will launch later this year. The plan is to build three buildings which will be completed by 2030 allowing 44 per cent of Rwanda to be reached by drone.

Each of the buildings will contain a health centre, a digital fabrication workshop, a post and courier room, and an e-commerce trading hub.

The droneport is designed as a ‘kit-of-parts’ where only the basic formwork and brick-press machinery is delivered to site, and the raw materials, such as clay for bricks and boulders for the foundation, are locally sourced.

The vaulted brick structure will be built be the local communities and multiple vaults can be linked together to form flexible spaces.

Source: Norman Foster's droneport at Venice Biennale

Foster, commented: ’Africa is a continent where the gap between the population and infrastructural growth is increasing exponentially. The dearth of terrestrial infrastructure has a direct impact on the ability to deliver life-giving supplies, indeed where something as basic as blood is not always available for timely treatment. We require immediate bold, radical solutions to address this issue.

’The Droneport project is about doing ‘more with less’, capitalising on the recent advancements in drone technology – something that is usually associated with war and hostilities – to make an immediate life-saving impact in Africa. Rwanda’s challenging geographical and social landscape makes it an ideal test-bed for the Droneport project. This project can have massive impact through the century and save lives immediately.’

The Norman Foster Foundation plans for every small town in Africa to have a droneport by 2030.

Droneport by the Norman Foster Foundation

Droneport by the Norman Foster Foundation

Droneport by the Norman Foster Foundation

Droneport by the Norman Foster Foundation


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