Airships = The happier, more sensible future…

10 Apr
Zeppelin NT in the skyline

Zeppelin NT in the skyline

Airships are fast becoming a visual shorthand to denote a hopeful, better alternative.  Again and again, airships making cameo appearances in the background of architectural competition posters.  Viz here and here.

One can imagine the team looking at roughs of the presentation, late afternoon in Copenhagen, discussing the composition and details of the sexy final image.

Senior architect: Looks good, increase the size of the title.. hrm.. something’s missing in the skyline.. What do you think, everyone? Maybe a helicopter or jet to balance out the composition?

Junior architect: How about an airship?  They’re so cool..

Everyone:  What’s an airship?

Junior Architect: Like a zeppelin, or blimp.

Senior Architect: Make it so.

Chicago Union Station with Airship dock.

Chicago Union Station with Airship dock.

This concept by Germany’s Graft is a futuristic imagining of a transit terminus for Chicago, complete with airship dock.

Russian floating hotel concept, serviced by airships.

Russian floating hotel concept, serviced by airships.

Another architectural concept integrated with airship tech.  This time, a luxurious floating hotel serviced by airships, by architect Alexander Asadov’s studio.

The common thread behind all these references to airships is that none of them ever discuss the practicalities of airships.  I think that a collaboration with Architecture will be necessary to think about integrating airships into the city, and building better docks than simple mooring masts and a step ladder.  Envision a graceful, translucent cloud sensually docked to Waterloo station’s gleaming new airship dock.  Step aboard and ride to Paris in 3 hours.

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