In order to serve its rapidly expanding population of more than five million, the ArRiyadh Development Authority has commissioned Zaha Hadid Architects to construct the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in its capital city of Riyadh, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Project DirectorGianluca Racana, Filippo Innocenti
Project ArchitectFulvio Wirz, Gian Luca Barone
Design TeamAlexandre Kuroda, Fei Wang, Lisa Kinnerud, Jorge Mendez-Caceres
Structural EngineerBuro Happold
Transport and Civil EngineeringBuro Happold
Fire EngineeringBuro Happold
Cost ConsultantDavis Langdon
PhotographsCourtesy of ZHA