Zaha Hadid Architects Selected to Design the King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station in Saudi Arabia

Courtesy of ZHA

In order to serve its rapidly expanding population of more than five million, the ArRiyadh Development Authority has commissioned to construct the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in its capital city of , Saudi Arabia.

With six platforms over four public floors and two levels of underground car parking, the KAFD Metro Station will be integrated within the urban context of the financial district, while responding to the functional requirements for a multimodal transport centre and the district’s future vision. The project extends beyond the simple station typology to emphasize the building’s importance as a dynamic, multi-functional public space; not only an intermediate place perceived through quick transitions, but also a dramatic public space for the city.

Courtesy of ZHA

The 20,434 square meter King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station will be placed amidst a tangle of pathways, skybridges and metro lines – all of which have been mapped and structured to clearly delineate the pedestrian routes within the building, optimize internal circulation and avoid congestion. The resulting configuration is a three-dimensional lattice defined by a sequence of opposing sine-waves (generated from the repetition and frequency variation of station’s daily traffic flows) which act as the spine for the building’s circulation. These sine-waves are extended to the station’s envelope and strictly affiliated to its internal layout, translating the architectural concept to the exterior.

Courtesy of ZHA

In addition, the façade patterning reduces solar gain while it’s geometric perforations contextualize the station within its cultural environment. The overall composition resembles patterns generated by desert winds in sand dunes, where multiple frequencies and repetition generate complex natural formations.

Courtesy of ZHA

King Abdullah has instructed the new Riyadh Metro be completed in four years. Prince Khaled bin Bander, the governor of Riyadh, said the project is progressing to plan and the ArRiyadh Development Authority has released details of the city’s public transport plan including the six metro lines that will serve as the backbone for public transport in the city.

Courtesy of ZHA

ZHA’s King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station will serve as a key interchange on the network for Line 1, as well as the terminus of Line 4 (for passengers to the airport) and Line 6 of the new Riyadh Metro. The local monorail can also be accessed from the station via a skybridge.

Courtesy of ZHA

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Project Director: Gianluca Racana, Filippo Innocenti
Project Architect: Fulvio Wirz, Gian Luca Barone
Design Team: Alexandre Kuroda, Fei Wang, Lisa Kinnerud, Jorge Mendez-Caceres
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
Services: Buro Happold
Transport And Civil Engineering: Buro Happold
Fire Engineering: Buro Happold
Façade Consultant: NewTecnic
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon
Area: 20,434 m2
Area: 0.0 sqm
Year: 2017
Photographs: Courtesy of ZHA

Project description via ZHA

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Zaha Hadid Architects Selected to Design the King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station in Saudi Arabia" 16 May 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    An absolute monostrosity of a building, and in the heart of a city with one of the world’s most appalling human rights standards for women. But please, Zaha, grab the microphone once again and tell us how architecture is a horrible misogynistic practice and we’re not doing enough to promote women (she may be right, but it’s hard for me to listen to her when she’s also willing to have her firm bankrolled by a dictator who has institutionalized womens’ opression in his country).

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    “sine-waves (generated from the repetition and frequency variation of station’s daily traffic flows)”

    wtf… give me a break.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    grotesque! and the cliche is just so cheesy… yes Zaha, we are all 5 years old!
    someone stop this firm please!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    grandissima Zaha quando guardo le tue architetture penso che valga la pena vivere per provare tanta emozione.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down -2

    amazing design.. but do Saudi government thoughts about how people will use this metro? will they make a separate cabinets for females and other for males? or how!! or it will be just a waste of money without that number of travelers with it , as every one in Riyadh either has his own car or use taxi. be realistic !!

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I liked the idea of linking the metro station and the form of the ship. Always Zaha Hadid lines are the best …

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