One of Spain’s most storied yet disused bullfighting rings may someday echo with the buzz of drones instead of the roar of the bull if one architect’s dream comes true.
Frederick Ajjoub, a City and Technology graduate student at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, recently published a plan to transform Barcelona’s La Monumental, a 102-year-old abandoned ring, into a “drone transportation hub of the future.”
“I, like many others, have also dreamed about flying and the need to observe the light – as an architect it is difficult to be able to get above the city to take it all in,” Ajjoub said. “So to me, the augmentation between architecture and drones is a natural thing.”
La Monumental closed in 2012 in the wake of a government edict banning bullfighting. Ajjoub says a drone complex would keep the existing stadium untouched to reflect its historicity while offering a space for drone innovation and perhaps even a delivery port.
Ajjoub’s project began as a master’s thesis project at the Institute. Sketched from above – naturally — his design resembles the four rotors of a quadcopter. He envisions a place where drone enthusiasts can “test, play, race and rejuvenate the old bull fight sand field with different types of drones.”
Ajjoub sees drone racing as a key component to the complex and believes competitions would intertwine “the future of flight and robots with the earthy, sanguine world of the bullfighter in a manner that elicits new life whilst respecting the proud history of bull fighters.”
Envisioning a drone paradise is one thing. Making it a reality is something else. To give his projects real-world wings, Ajjoub turned to Rowland Marshall, a Paris-based business developer with drone-maker Parrot.
Ajjoub and Marshall began to bring together the architect’s vision with the technical aspects necessary to make it happen.
In addition to a drone racing arena, Ajjoub’s drone paradise would include a drone fabrication lab and a retail space where drone companies could peddle products and demonstrate services.
Ajjoub has made 3D Sketchup-format design files available here.
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