Revealed: Stunning new images show gold-plated, ultra-luxurious Riyadh metro station that Saudi king has ordered to be built

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station has been designed by half-British architect Zaha Hadid

John Hall
Monday 20 May 2013 17:42
Comments

The next time your train spends five minutes stuck inside a filthy, rat-infested Tube tunnel, or you find yourself unable to squeeze onto yet another delayed train from a cramped, non-descript station, it’s probably best not to think of Riyadh.

For, while London Underground passengers face poky platforms not really designed for the millions of users they encounter every day, where the only decoration are endless advertising billboards - a new state-of-the art, ultra-luxurious underground station is being built in Saudi Arabia.

With its gold-plated walls, space-age designs, huge marble walkways and a sophisticated passenger flow system designed to ensure rush hour commutes are as stress-free as possible, Riyadh’s recently commissioned King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station is set to become the most luxurious underground stop in the world.

Click here for more images of the Riyadh metro system

The project is not some far-off fantasy either; the man funding the project, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, has demanded the station be ready for passengers in just four years – the time it often takes for a major station overhaul in New York or London.

What may be particularly frustrating to the weary UK commuter, however, is that the entire project has been designed by the half-British architect Zaha Hadid. Somewhat ironically, Hadid - the award winning designer behind the Maxxi museum in Rome and Seoul‘s Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park - works from an office in London.

Along with numerous private residential buildings, Hadid has worked on countless major international projects, such as: 33-35 Hoxton Square in London, the d'Leedon building in Singapore, the Beethoven Concert Hall in Germany, the Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Arts Centre in China, Slovakia's Bratislava Culenova New City Centre and the CMA CGM headquarters in Marseille, France.

With its breathtaking sky bridges, huge car parking system and multi-level shopping areas, the King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station above-ground entrance will be a colossal building built in the futuristic, gently curving, glass-dominated design for which Hadid has become famous.

The 20,434 metre-square station’s appeal won’t be entirely aesthetic however. As befits an underground stop in one of the hottest cities in the world, a cutting edge air conditioning system will be in place to keep commuters cool.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in