A book on design and construction of Riyadh’s new integrated transit system calls the Omrania-designed Western Station a “symbol of urban renewal” and a step towards a “more urbane and sustainable Riyadh.”
“Fast Track to the Future” (Volume 1) provides the first comprehensive account of the planning, architecture, engineering, construction, and economics of Riyadh’s new integrated transit system. Published by Al Hilal Group under the auspices of The Riyadh Development Authority (ADA), the book includes substantial coverage of the Western Station, designed by Omrania as one of four multimodal hubs where Metro and bus lines converge.
As the feature says, “The Western Station serving Line 3 will be a catalyst for urban renewal, its design, the embodiment of local culture and heritage.” The book highlights the synthesis of urban planning, architecture, and landscape architecture, noting the “potentially metamorphic impact the Western Station could have on the district.” In the near future, the whole area, comprising a mix of shops and residential streets, “could be transformed as the Western Station assumes a role as the heart of the community and a catalyst for private and public sector investment on the city’s outskirts.”
The design and engineering of the station’s signature arched roof structure and public gardens are discussed in the context of community building. “As well as being an iconic nexus transit hub with an above ground Metro Station, bus station, and underground park & ride facility, the 110,000-square-metre Western Station will include a complementary mixed-use development, plus a year-round public space integrating transit and culture,” the book says.
Omrania co-founder and Managing Director Basem Al Shihabi says that when Omrania won the design contract for the hub station in 2011, “We were directly competing against an elite group of international consultants and were very proud to win.” Part of the reason for the company’s success, the article notes, is the fusion of “architectural and engineering excellence” mixed with “keen respect for the environment where the building rests.”
“Fast Track to the Future” (Volume 1) is the first in a planned series of publications on the new Riyadh transit system, officially called the King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport. The system will include six Riyadh Metro lines with 176 km of track and 85 stations, and the Riyadh Bus network comprising 24 lines that run over 1,900 km to meet the city’s mobility requirements of the future. The book includes an introduction by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh and Chairman of the Council of Riyadh Development Authority and HE Eng. Tariq Al Fares, CEO of the Riyadh Development Authority.