Is the new metro in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, set to be one of the most beautiful urban transport systems in the world? It could very well be. The last time we caught up with it, Zaha Hadid Architects had produced an exceptional design for the King Abdullah Financial District Metro station.
Yesterday, a consortium led by engineering, project management, and construction company Bechtel was awarded the contract to design and build two of the network’s lines (lines 1 and 2 out of a total of six). The stations look gorgeous (check out Bechtel’s photo gallery here) and will tread lightly too, being powered by renewable energy. Bechtel says, “The highly-aesthetic design reflects Riyadh’s modernity and the city’s architectural heritage.” You’re not kidding.
Modern metros haven’t always had the most care and attention lavished on the way they look (surely it’s a given that they should function effectively, so why not make them attractive and desirable systems on which to travel, too?). Riyadh looks set to break the mould comprehensively, and I can’t wait for the city’s new metro to open.