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First look: Zaha Hadid Architects finally completes Naples station

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Zaha Hadid Architects has unviled the first phase of the long-awaited Napoli Afragola Station - a project first unveiled more than 14 years ago

The design of the 30,000m² station seven miles north of Naples, which is raised above eight railway tracks, features a large central atrium and a 450-metre elevated concourse made up of 200 differently shaped steel ribs. 

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) began working on its designs for the major transport project in 2003, but the scheme was hit by a series of delays over the years, notably when it was put on hold in 2012 amid budget concerns.  

According to ZHA, the station, which uses 6,000m² of glass cladding, is defined by the ’circulation routes of passengers’. It added that the ’paths of passengers have also determined the geometry of the spaces within’ the building. 

The station is constructed on a reinforced concrete base, and the roof is fitted with solar panels. Cooling and heating systems at ground level also help the station to minimise energy consumption.

Once all the lines are open, 32,700 passengers are expected to use the station each day, according to the practice. The station is intended to connect the regions of southern Italy to the national rail network in the north, and to the rest of Europe.

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Project data

Client RFI S.p.A. (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana)
Architect Zaha Hadid Architects (Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher)
Structural engineering and geotechnics consultants Hanif Kara, Paul Scott
Landscape design GROSS MAX – Eelco Hooftman
Transport Engineering JMP - Max Matteis
Contractor ATI ASTALDI S.p.A (Astaldi S.p. A; NBI S.p.A)
Start date First proposed in 2003
Completion date June 2017
Building Services, Acoustics and Architectural Lighting Max Fordham

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Putting a clear glass roof on a station at a latitude where the average daytime temperature is around 30C for at least two months of the year is not great architecture, it's just incompetent

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