The Qasr Al Hokm Downtown Metro Station, along with the Western Station, will be one of the main focal points of the new Riyadh mobility. The North-South and East-West lines’ orientation makes it a central hub within the overall Metro system.
Developed from Snøhetta’s original concept, the design consists of a vast public plaza, mosque, monumental entrance, three story parking facility and underground connections to an off-site plaza.
The station itself is made up of a urban scale public concourse area, retail activities and offices, ticketing facilities and access points to the two intersecting metros, the Blue Line spanning from North to South and the Red line spanning from East to West. The building stands as an icon in virtue of its large stainless steel canopy that, besides providing abundant shaded areas, channels daylight into the metro station and characterise the internal architecture.
The station’s location in the City’s Downtown area offers a historic reference, tying together the long-established urban fabric with the hypermodern metro network. The particular shape and design of the steel cover and cone wall derives from Saudi Arabian architecture and traditions.
The interior is characterised by large spaces and by a sense of breadth and openness, as it receives indirect daylight in all its levels thanks to the cone wall being formed by the cover. Within this cone, which also serves as a unifying element – at the bottom of the station – there’s a garden. An unexpected element which provides comfort and wellness to the visitors and underline a direct link with the exterior. This aim is achieved also thanks to the presence of big openings in the slabs at every level.
The structure presents two different scheme: for the plaza level there’s a steel-concrete structure, the one on which the roof is posing, while the rest of the station is an underground reinforced concrete structure. Its slabs are realised with hollow-core planks or in full concrete section – these elements collaborate with the ground anchorage system that surrounds the station to ensure the maximum stability of the building against the external thrust that comes from the ground. In addition, the station is connected to a two-level underground reinforced concrete parking lot.
The project reflects all the sustainability aspects: the Downtown station takes care the environment providing energy, water conservation, daylight harvesting, natural shading and ventilation; and pay attention also to the economical and social aspects, providing an efficient transport way and public spaces for all the citizens.