Urukia
Architecture & Design Magazine

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | Zaha Hadid Architects

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station by Zaha Hadid01

The ArRiyadh Development Authority has announced that Zaha Hadid Architects will build the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

With over 5 million residents, Riyadh’s population has more than doubled since 1990. To serve its fast-growing population, the city will build a new public transport system.

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station by Zaha Hadid02

The 20,434 sq. m. King Abdullah Financial Disctrict 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. 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, 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.

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station by Zaha Hadid03

The design places the station at the centre of a network of pathways, skybridges and metro lines envisaged by the KAFD master plan. Connectivity diagrams and traffic across the site 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.

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station by Zaha Hadid04

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.

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station by Zaha Hadid05

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 Financial District Metro Station by Zaha Hadid06

The King Abdullah Financial Disctrict Metro Station applies a discrete subset of elements which are correlated through repetition, symmetry and scaling; optimizing the design while simplify technical challenges without compromising spatial quality or design ambition.

Project Info:

Project: King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station
Location: Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Date: 2012 / 2017
Client: ArRiyadh Development Authority
Design: 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
Size: 20,434 m2
Levels: 4 above ground, 2 below ground (car parking)
Metro Lines served: Line 1, Line 4, Line 6, Skybridge access to monorail, (6 train plattforms)

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