Zaha Hadid to Design Riyadh’s Most Exuberant Metro Station

The company led by the world-renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid has recently won a design contest for creating the world’s most luxurious rail station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year, Zaha Hadid made the news for having a building designed for Beijing pirated by a developer in Chongqing. It was even said that the pirated building would be finished before the original, fact that must have made some waves in the architecture world. Now, ZHA (Zaha Hadid Architects) is preparing another grand project: the world’s most exuberant metro station in the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD).

I’ve been a long-time admirer of Zaha Hadid’s work and I’ve always been fascinated with the fluid lines of the buildings envisioned by her and her team of architects. However, this project is meant to surpass everything ZHA have created until now.

In the above picture you can see one side of the building, which to me looks an awful lot like a yacht. If there’s one thing Arab monarchs are known for, it’s the incredibly expensive super yachts they own, so the reference is understandable.

The sine waves seen both on the outside and on the inside of the metro station represent the trademark of the building and of the architect. The marbled walkways and the gold-plated walls that the project would feature makes us think there’s no financial crisis in the Middle East.

The need for a new transport system was triggered by the fact that Riyadh’s population more than doubled in the past two decades and this trend will certainly continue. What determined King Abdullah to commission the world’s most luxurious metro station is probably the wish to set his country apart. We’ll get to see how the rail station will look like in four years, when the construction of the project designed by ZHA will end.

Obviously, not all the stations of the metro network will be as exuberant as this one, but Riyadh’s financial district could make use of such a luxurious building. According to the details found on Designboom, the KAFD metro station will feature four levels above ground and two below ground, for car parking. Additional details can be found at the above linked page or on the Zaha Hadid Architects website. If you visit the latter, make sure you also check the entire portfolio of the company.

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