Foster + Partners Completes Four Stations for Haramain High Speed Rail Line
Multiple Cities, Saudi Arabia
All images © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
These stations are conceived as gateways to the cities along the Haramain high speed rail line, a 450-kilometre high speed rail line connecting the holy cities of Medina and Makkah via the two coastal cities of Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.
The design of the stations is inspired by architectural traditions of the region. All four stations have common elements for a consistent design approach.
The stations are built using a modular approach with steel columns and arches that are repeated on a square grid to form freestanding tree structures. These structures connect to form a flexible vaulted roof. Each station’s vaults have a unique color to respond to the identity of the different cities.
This modular approach allows stations to respond to a growing passenger demand that is anticipated to increase from 60 million passengers per year to reach 135 million.
Designed to serve 20,000 passengers at their peak, the stations aim to provide respite from the country’s heat. Openings in the vaulted roof allow for controlled amount of light into the station to create a calm and well-lit atmosphere. In addition, spherical chandeliers provide focused lightening to accentuate the rhythm of the structure.
With sustainability in mind, the stations are also able to maintain low ambient temperatures without mechanical cooling. Furthermore, the platforms have misting devices and large fans to keep them cool.
The Haramain high-speed rail line will have trains running at a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour. This will cut the travel time between Makkah and Medina to 2 hours and 20 minutes.
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