Downtown Station

Riyadh Metro Line 3 LLC
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2013-in progress
Design leader for architectural, structural and MEP design
Oneworks, Snøhetta

The Qasr Al Hokm Downtown Metro Station will become an icon for the renaissance of the city of Riyadh. The station is designed as an urban plaza with a large stainless steel canopy that provides shades to the surrounding public spaces and channels the daylight down into the below metro station. The steel canopy is laid on a reinforced concrete cone-wall that defines the internal architecture of the station. It provides, with its peculiar triangular openings designed to interpret vernacular Saudi Arabian history and architecture, a strong and solid link between the hyper-modern metro network and its historic context.

The cone-wall also defines a void which carries indirect light down, whilst acting as a unifying element and reference space in the building. Inside this cone, at the bottom level of the station, there is a garden accessible from the platform levels, which represents a refreshing and unexpected element in an underground space.

The station is an underground reinforced concrete structure.  The slabs are realized with hollow-core planks or in full concrete section, with the exception of the plaza level which has a steel-concrete structure. They contribute, in a synergic work with the ground anchorage system that surrounds the station, to the stability of the structures against the external thrust that comes from the ground. The presence of big openings in the slabs at every level contribute to the goal of the whole station concept, which is a sense of breath and airiness. The station is connected to a two level underground reinforced concrete parking lot that enclose the south side of the station.


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