We have seen rooftop helipads, restaurants, pools, and even gardens, but soon rooftops will be catering to a new service: drone delivery. Maida Vale’s Lyons Place, a residential complex designed by architect Sir Terry Farrell, will be the first in the UK to implement rooftop ‘vertiports’, encouraging drone delivery services.
The drone delivery system has been successfully functioning in other countries such as Finland, Switzerland and Dubai. Switzerland has already lead the way of drone deliveries, as medical supplies are being transferred from laboratories to hospitals via ‘vertiports’ regularly. However, these vertiports have been implemented on van roofs, and not buildings.
Plenty of design proposals and infrastructure logistics are being evaluated by developers to facilitate the innovative delivery concept, especially in condensed cities. Amazon has proposed a multi-leveled warehouse, or an urban “beehive” tower, which will house these drones ahead of their travels, acting as drone headquarters. Although new buildings can be initially designed to accommodate drone 'vertiports', existing buildings may resort to use of balconies, terraces, and backyards to land, in case redesigning was not feasible.
The Maida Vale housing project will be developed in partnership with Skyports, the leading company in the market to evaluate, design, and develop urban air mobility services in some of the world’s largest cities, such as London, Singapore, and Los Angeles.