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Sun 19 May 2013 09:12 AM

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Female architect to design Saudi metro station

Renowned Muslim architect Zaha Hadid hired to design Riyadh's King Abdullah Financial District station

Female architect to design Saudi metro station

Renowned Muslim architect Zaha Hadid has been appointed to design a landmark metro station in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District.

Known for her eccentric and experimental concepts, it is hoped the 22,000 square metre station will become a focal point for the city as much as a commuter hub.

“The project extends beyond the simple station typology to emphasise 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,” a statement on the Zaha Hadid Architects website says.

“The design places the station at the centre of a network of pathways, skybridges and metro lines. Connectivity diagrams and traffic across the site have been mapped and structured to clearly delineate the pedestrian routes within the building, ptimise internal circulation and avoid congestion.

“The resulting configuration is a three-dimensional lattice defined by a sequesnce 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 evelope and strictly affiliated to its internal layout, translating the architectural concept to the exterior.”

Hadid, who was born in Iraq but lives in the UK, is known for designing the aquatic centre for the London Olympics.

Some of her other notable projects include a ski jump on the Bergisel Mountain overlooking Innsbruck, Austria; a fire station in Germany; an exhibition building in LFone/Landesgartenschau; and a "park and ride" and tramway on the outskirts of Strasbourg, France.

She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize and is consistently ranked in the Arabian Business Power 100 list.

The new metro station is part of the Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure upgrade to help accommodate its burgeoning population, including in the capital, Riyadh, which has doubled its population to 5 million in recent years.

The station will be built over four years.

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Al Stevens 6 years ago

Actually, Zaha is not a God Loving Muslim but a GOD Loving Christian....Not that it should matter since architecture does not have a religion.

Minaka 6 years ago

Why mention "Muslim" Architect? Was that important for Saudi when they were looking for architects?

Ron Saldanha 6 years ago

Just trying to get the facts straight..

"Strictly speaking, she is a Muslim, but she was educated by Catholic nuns in Baghdad, and then at a school in Switzerland."

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2006/oct/09/architecture.communities