Architecture, Italy, Napoli afragola, Railway, Zaha Hadid Architects, ZHA

Zaha Hadid Architects complete phase one of Napoli Afragola train station

Zaha Hadid Architects has just completed phase one of the Napoli Afragola Station, designed to be the gateway to the south of Italy.

Recently inaugurated by the country’s prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, the new rail stations is one of southern Italy’s key interchange stations serving four high speed inter-city lines, three inter-regional lines and a local commuter line.

Designed as an urbanised public bridge that connects the communities on both sides of the railway, the station’s layout prioritises pedestrian circulation and minimises distances for those embarking and alighting at Napoli Afragola, as well as those connecting to different train services.

The station’s design magnifies the public walkway over the eight railway tracks making it the station’s main passenger concourse — a bridge housing all the services and facilities for departing, arriving and connecting passengers, with direct access to all platforms below.

Passenger pathways have also influenced the geometry of the spaces within. Large entrances at both ends of the station welcome and guide visitors up to the elevated public zones lined with shops and other amenities. Visitors from either side of the station meet in a central atrium above overlooked by cafes and restaurants.

Constructed as a reinforced concrete base, the station also features an elevated concourse of 200 steel ribs clad in Corian with a glazed roof.

The concrete used within the station is a specific composition that provides optimum performance, with the curved structure built using technologies developed during the construction of the MAXXI Museum in Rome. It consists of a wooden formwork replaced by prefabricated steel units, and double-curves realised with formwork created from CNC milled polystyrene models.

The main concourse of the station contributes to the building’s ecological sustainability. With integrated solar panels in the roof, combined with natural light and ventilation, as well as ground source cooling and heating systems, the station is enabled to minimise energy consumption.

The Napoli Afragola Station is a recent addition to the planned high speed rail services connecting Bari and Reggio Calabria with the north of Italy and Europe. Set for 2022, the rail infrastructure will create an important hub at Napoli Afragola, which will serve the entire 15 million residents of the Campania region.

Google recently celebrated Zaha Hadid with a doodle on its homepage. Read about it here