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Gerber Architekten

Minimalist sand dune in an urban context

The planning of the Olaya Metro Station has entered the next stage

In planning the Olaya Metro Station, Gerber Architekten are currently working on the most important infrarstructure project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Following the competition win in 2012, excavation work has now begun. The groundbreaking-ceremony was celebrated on the 3rd of April 2014 in the presence of the Governor of Riyadh at that time, Prince Khalid bin Bandar. Now, the BACS Consortium comprised of Saudi Arabian Bechtel Company, Almabani, Consolidated Contractors Company and Siemens opened up the way for the next planning phase to commence and commissioned Professor Gerber and his team Gerber Architekten under the direction of Thomas Lücking in cooperation with BuroHappold Engineering with further planning for this major project. The planning work for the station should be completed in the next 18 months.

In order to improve the quality of life, a new metro system for the Saudi Arabian capital will be developped. Gerber Architekten won the competition for the Olaya Metro Station in 2012. The design of the station reinterprets the Arabian desert landscape, recalls a minimalist dune and thus establishes a dialogue between tradition and future. This new oasis becomes a communicative meeting place in the city. The sculptural form creates a park which gradually rises upwards in gentle waves to become the roof of the Olaya Station. This dune park will answer the pressing need for more green urban space in Riyadh.
The main planning approaches are – beyond addressing the technical and functional complexity of an underground-station – to link the two crossing underground lines and combine them with a shopping mall. A further significant design objective is to ensure ease of access and orientation inside the building, which goes down to 30 metres below the ground, and to make the movement of people and trains inside the station clearly visible. The trains arrive through futuristic glass tubes and use the very latest in technology, developed and manufactured by Siemens. The completion of the Olaya Metro Station is being coordinated with the overall network and final completion date is scheduled for end of 2018.

Olaya Metro Station
© Gerber Architekten
Visualisation: bloomimages