'Clipper in the clouds' concept attracts corporate attention

A 'hotel in the sky' powered by renewable energy could be the future of green travel, according to its designers.

The Aircruise, a gigantic vertical airship, would use hydrogen gas to keep it aloft and solar energy to power its engines.

Mega-corporation Samsung has embraced the concept that fits well with the emerging South Korean dream of rebuilding its economy in a greener shade, and has appointed designers Seymourpowell to refine the idea and produce a detailed computer animation of the proposed experience to illustrate it.

Seymourpowell says due to weight restraints and the volumes of hydrogen needed to keep it airborne, the travelling hotel would combine low passenger numbers and huge internal spaces offering room for living, dining and relaxing.

The initial design proposes a bar/lounge zone, four large apartments, a penthouse and five smaller apartments.

Nick Talbot, design director at Seymourpowell said: "The Aircruise concept questions whether the future of luxury travel should be based around space-constrained, resource hungry, and all too often stressful airline travel.

"A more serene transport experience will appeal to people looking for a more reflective journey, where the experience of travel itself is more important than getting from A to B quickly."

Although only a conceptual proposal, Seymourpowell has developed detailed and, it claims, achievable technical specification for the craft.

Seung Min Kim, design director at Samsung C&T said: "This was a dream concept project for us, helping to realise a future of sustainable buildings combined with innovative and luxury

"In an age when environmental impact is a key consideration for architecture, we are keen to extend this vision of the future by searching for solutions that can be realised by 2015 - the year that many futurologists foresee as the turning point for the future."

Sam Bond


building materials | solar


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