These stations make use of a modular approach that highlights the arch, a traditional gateway design in Islamic architecture. A series of arches figure in each station’s roof design in a sequence of tall arches rising from the concourse, and in a series of smaller arches at platform level. Each station is modular, allowing for a high degree of efficiency in prefabrication and assembly, while making use of a different, symbolic color palette.
The Makkah Station design makes reference to the gold leaf of the decorated Kab’ah, highlighting the city’s significance as a holy site, while Madinah Station’s vivid green draws its inspiration from the Mosque of the Prophet. The Jeddah Station features a particular shade of purple associated with that city, while the KAEC station highlights the King’s new city development as a futuristic endeavor with blue and silver.
Supported by freestanding structural “trees,” the arches connect to form a flexible, vaulted roof. Openings in the roof draw daylight down into the concourse via light tubes. At night, spotlights between the perforations in the roof resemble stars scattered across the night sky. Spherical chandeliers suspended between the arches providing both lighting and a mediation of each building’s scale (the roofs here are nearly 90 feet tall).
While the design focuses on natural daylighting, solar gain is kept to a minimum via high-performance glazing on all windows and opaque facades wherever visibility isn’t critical.
Phase I of the Harmain High-speed Rail project began in 2009; the final phase is expected to be complete by the end of this year. More information is available online.
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