KAFD Metro Station

Project Details

Project Type


Lighting Design


Project Location

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia





Products Specified


With Riyadh’s population more than doubling since 1990 to over 6.5 million, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) has commissioned the Riyadh Metro Project, an entirely new public transit system for the city with 6 main lines covering 176 km and 85 new stations. Anticipated to transport 3.6 million passengers a day in full capacity mode, The Riyadh Metro will contribute to reducing the number of car trips throughout the city by almost 2,000,000 car journeys every day.

KAFD Metro Station will serve as a key interchange on the new network for the Blue Line (Line 1) with the terminus of the Yellow Line to the airport (Line 4) and the Purple Line (Line 6) as well as a skybridge connecting to the local KAFD monorail. With six platforms over four public levels and park-and-ride facilities, the station will be an important multimodal transport hub and a new public space for the city that is wholly integrated within the district.

The station’s design prioritizes connectivity. Predicted rail, car and pedestrian traffic across the site has been modelled, mapped and structured to optimize internal circulation and avoid congestion. The resulting configuration is a three-dimensional lattice defined by a sequence of opposing sine-waves (generated from the repetition and frequency variation of the station’s daily traffic flows) which act as the spine for the building’s circulation.

These sine-waves extend to the station’s exterior where façade patterning reduces solar gain and geometric perforations contextualize the station within its environment. The overall composition echoes patterns generated by desert winds in sand, where multiple frequencies and reverberation generate complex repetition in natural formations.

Designed by ZHA supported by the Riyadh Metro Project Architects team, the KAFD Metro Station is composed from a subset of elements that are highly correlated through repetition, symmetry and scale to simplify technical challenges without compromising spatial quality or design ambition. Targeting LEED Silver certification, the station’s design integrates future possibilities for additional renewable energy capabilities that can achieve LEED Gold accreditation.

In collaboration with Light Tech SA, LEDFlex has designed bespoke linear lighting solutions for the wave-like canopy of the facade for over 10 of the 85 metro stations in the network including KAFD. 5000 meters of Maxi Neon in 3000K and 4000K have been used to illuminate the exterior of the canopy. Taking into consideration the weather conditions in Saudi Arabia as well as the application of the product, we have custom crafted our neon to be encapsulated in high grade silicone. The silicone not only enables the luminaire to withstand extreme temperatures but also prevents the build-up of sand particles over time.

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC)
Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Principal: Gianluca Racana
Project Director: Filippo Innocenti
Project Architect: Gian Luca Barone
Project Associate: Fulvio Wirz
Construction Support Services: Marco Amoroso, Vincenzo Caputo, Abdel Halim Chehab, Domenico Di Francesco, Marko Gligorov, Stefano Iacopini.
Project Team: Marco Amoroso, Vincenzo Caputo, Abdel Halim Chehab, Lee Cubeddu, Rawan Al-Derjem, Domenico Di Francesco, David Fogliano, Manuele Gaioni, Marko Gligorov, Subharthi Guha, Alexandros Kallegias, Lisa Kinnerud, Alexandre Kuroda, Stefano Iacopini, Carolina López-Blanco, Jamie Mann, Mohammadali Mirzaei, Arian Hakimi Nejad, David Wolthers, , Mario Mattia, Massimo Napoleoni, Niki Okala, Carlos Parraga-Botero, Sohith Perera, Izis Salvador Pinto, Carine Posner, Neil Rigden, Paola Salcedo, Nima Shoja, Thomas Sonder, Vincenzo Reale, Kate Revyakina, Roberto Vangeli, Mark Winnington, Seungho Yeo, Alia Al Zayani.
Competition Team: Alexandre Kuroda, Fei Wang, Lisa Kinnerud, Jorge Mendez-Caceres.
Admin Team: Nicola McConnell & Asheley Doyle.