The freshly inaugurated high-speed train station in Afragola, on the outskirts of Naples, is billed as a gateway to the south of Italy, announces the late architect's practice, Zaha Hadid Architects. The station will operate from June 11 and has been designed as a key interchange and rail hub, served by four high-speed rail lines linking northern and southern Italy, plus three interregional lines and one local commuter line.
This train station has been designed as an urbanized public bridge, connecting communities on either side of the train tracks. The public walkway, which also forms the station concourse, rises over eight railway lines.
Large entrances at either end of the bridge welcome and direct passengers and visitors towards public zones, lined with shops and other commodities. Arriving from either side of the station, passengers and passersby walking the concourse meet in a central atrium surrounded by cafés and restaurants.
The station, designed as an extrusion of a trapezoid along a 450m curved path, has been built with a reinforced concrete base. This supports an elevated concourse of 200 steel ribs and a glazed roof, featuring built-in solar panels.
The concrete used is a specific composition providing optimum performances, with curved structural concrete elements built using technologies initially developed during the construction of the MAXXI Museum in Rome, also designed by Zaha Hadid.
Zaha Hadid died of a heart attack in Miami in March 2016. She was a key figure of 20th-century architecture. Born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq, Hadid was the first woman to be crowned with the Pritzker Architecture Prize, one of the most prestigious in the profession. She is also the first woman to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.