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Foster: ‘Driverless cars and drones will change our cities’


Norman Foster has said that new technology, including drones and self-driving cars, will inevitably transform architecture and our cities

The architect was speaking at the star-studded topping out ceremony yesterday (17 September) of his practice Foster + Partners’ and engineer AKTII’s new European headquarters for Bloomberg in the City of London.

Foster told the AJ: ‘In the future drones will allow us to carry any cargo safely, taking congestion off the roads.

‘The result will mean we can bring back the civic realm. Life in a city and the architecture of the city is directly related to the civic realm’.

Earlier this week Foster + Partners released images of plans for a droneport to support cargo routes delivering supplies to remote locations in Africa.

When asked what other technologies could change the way architects design, Foster listed self-driving cars, mobile phones, robots and materials which can harness energy.

The 80-year-old architect added: ‘Driverless cars will also change the way we design cities. We won’t need as many motorways and our journeys will turn into leisure time. We’ll be able to read the newspaper while sat in the car on the way to work.’

‘It is all part of the mantra of doing more with less’, said Foster. ‘Drones are part of that.’

He added: ‘Robots will transform the way we make things. And there is so much potential in materials – stronger materials and materials which can harness energy.’

The Bloomberg project in Walbrook Square in the City of London is not set to complete until 2017. Once complete it will house a 250-seat theatre, 18 restaurants, 4,600 desk spaces, two public spaces and a new entrance to Bank Underground station.

The project, which is being delivered by contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and is aiming for BREEAM Outstanding, will be 70 per cent naturally ventilated and features breathable walls with bronze fins.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Reads very much like another does of "Technology is the answer! Now, what was the question?" - us architects do like our technological solutions... :o/

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  • Chris Rogers

    Foster praises cars and planes working on autopilot? Hmm, judging from much of his recent work, he's way ahead of the curve on that himself.

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