Droneport by Foster looks towards “holistic” architecture


Foster + Partners has unveiled a full-scale prototype of its Droneport concept at the Venice Biennale which is designed to transport medical supplies to remote regions in Africa

The project would see life-saving drugs and medicines distributed using unmanned flying vehicles which follow specific routes and land at designated points close to habitation. It is the inaugural idea of the Norman Foster Foundation.

This group has been set up by the British architect to anticipate technological advances in the field, respond to humanitarian needs and encourage a more “holistic” view of architecture.


The vaulted form of the port itself is made up from two layers of a new type of compressed earth blocks called Durabric, developed by the LafargeHolcim Foundation for sustainable construction with researchers at the Block Research Group from ETH in Zurich and MecoConcept in Toulouse.

Foster + Partners said: “The Droneport project is about doing more with less, capitalising on the recent advancements in drone technology – something that is usually associated with war and hostilities – to make an immediate life-saving impact in Africa.”

The pilot project is to be launched this year in Rwanda and completed by 2020, and the firm’s ambition is that every small town in Africa will have its own drone port by 2030.

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