One of the most important but most often ignored fact, is that "transportation centers" are crucial for the impression of a city. It is like a trailer for the city: you can check the hygiene, the intensity, the contact between the people... Following this logic, designing transportation centers requires a high level of responsibility. Several architects have transportation designs that can’t be overlooked. One of these striking architects is Zaha Hadid. Her contribution to the topic of "transportation centers" is given through the design of the Napoli Afragola station.
This station is placed 12 km north of Naples and is planned to serve its local communities of Acerra, Afragola, Caivano, Casalnuovo di Napoli, and Casoria. This new station aims to relieve the existing Naples station, not to replace it. It is an intermodal hub with the intention to connect the 15 million residents of Campania, Puglia, Molise, Calabria, and Sicily in southern Italy, with the national rail network in the north and the rest of Europe. The measured and increased train usage of 50% in the past decade, resulted due to this station, where Zaha Hadid’s responded with this futuristic design.
The shape of the object is a result of an extrusion of a trapezoid. This design of a moving shape, gives a dynamic form to this object that follows a 450 m curved path. There is an elevated promenade made of 200 differently formed steel ribs. The station has been constructed as a reinforced concrete base that supports an elevated hall of steel ribs, covered with Corian and a glazed roof. The specific composition of the concrete used in the design, allows optimal performance; Zaha Hadid started developing this technology of the studio, during the construction of the MAXXI Museum in Rome.
Like every other object built in this modern era, this one tends to be more sustainable in an ecological way. A lot of natural light is allowed in the object, which combined with the solar panels on the roof, natural ventilation & ground source cooling systems, gets thumbs up not just from the architecture lovers, also from Mother Nature herself. The first stage of Napoli Afragola was inaugurated in June 2017, and the second phase is expected to be done by 2022.
There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?
Zaha Hadid, after her death in 2016, remains as one of the most influential figures in architecture, because she showed an unstoppable mindset and proved that everything is possible if the vision of the designer is clear! This object particularly shows a clear idea of movement, and this is what a high-speed railway station needs to look like.
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