the italian prime minister, paolo gentiloni, has inaugurated the first phase of the late zaha hadid’s napoli afragola station. the high speed rail service connecting bari and reggio calabria with the north of italy and europe also enables goods and passengers to access the southern ports of gioia tauro, taranto, bari, brindisi, palermo and augusta. ‘any great country needs great projects that are a leap forward,’ explains gentiloni. ‘the new station at afragola is the foundation of the infrastructure program that promotes economic development in the south.’

zaha hadid napoli
the high speed rail service will connect bari and reggio calabria with the north of italy
image courtesy of zaha hadid architects (main image by jacopo spilimbergo)

 

 

the trademark concrete used in zaha hadid architect’s design of the station is a specific composition that provides optimum performance. the building’s curved structural concrete elements were built using technologies initially developed during the construction of the MAXXI museum in rome: wooden formwork replaced by prefabricated steel units, and double-curves realized with formwork created from CNC-milled polystyrene models.

zaha hadid napoli
the station is set to be fully operational by june 11th, 2017
image by jacopo spilimbergo

 

 

conceived as an ‘urbanized public bridge’, the station seeks to connect the communities found on either side of the railway. internally, the configuration minimizes distances for those embarking and alighting at the station, creating a series of fluid circulation routes. spanning above the eight railway lines, the public walkway becomes the station’s main passenger concourse, housing a wide range of services and facilities with direct access to platforms below.

zaha hadid napoli
the MAXXI museum in rome uses similar building techniques
image by jacopo spilimbergo

zaha hadid napoli
the glass clad roofs cast an organic shadow within the structure
image by jacopo spilimbergo


the paths of passengers have determined the geometry of the internal spaces
image by jacopo spilimbergo

zaha hadid napoli
a view of the railway station’s exterior
image by jacopo spilimbergo

 

 

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