A high-profile competition for the design of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has been won by a team including Zaha Hadid Architects, Buro Happold, Davis Langdon and NewTecnic. The group’s concept was selected from a shortlist of four and a deadline of four years has been given to realise this 20,434 sq m.
This particular metro station will form an integral part of the major Riyadh Metro scheme, which lays out 6 metro lines to form the backbone of Riyadh's transport system. King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station will be the key interchange on Line 1 and the terminus for Line 4 and Line 6. A breakdown of the entire Riyadh Metro reads thus:
Blue line: The 44km long line will serve the Olaya-Batha-Hayer axis and will include 39 stations.
Green line: The 22km long line will move along King Abdullah road, linking KSU in the west to King Fahad Stadium in the east. It will include 14 stations.
Red line: At 45km, it is the longest line. It will be constructed along Madinah, with the old train station in the middle of the line.
Orange line: It will link King Khaled International Airport to the new King Abdullah Financial District, with stops at Princess Norah University and Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University.
Yellow line: The 26km long line will be constructed along King Abdulaziz Road and will include 26 stations.
Purple line: This line will server eastern Riyadh and will feature 9 stations.
The concept is classically ‘Zaha’, drawing on the patterns of the desert winds on nearby sand dunes to create rippling motions across the façade. These undulating swathes are echoed inside the station concourse with a three-dimensional lattice defined by a sequence of opposing sine-waves, inspired by statistics of the station’s daily traffic flows.
Highly recognisable in form, the team has designed the station to be a landmark in its own right, not simply a transient space for commuters or visitors to the city. A network of pathways, skybridges and metro lines connect the volume to the surrounding urban realm while a perforated pattern that sweeps across the façade references local cultural design aesthetics.