ZHA’s Neapolitan high-speed station set to be “gateway to southern Italy”

The first phase of a high-speed rail station near Naples, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), has been inaugurated by Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni.

Afragola station was described by ZHA as "the new gateway to the south of Italy".

The station will serve trains on the Rome-Naples line that do not have Napoli Centrale as a terminus, but rather go on to Salerno.

Gentiloni said: "Any great country needs great projects that are a leap forward. The new station at Afragola is the foundation of the infrastructure program that promotes economic development in the south.    

"We have allocated €47bn over 12 years and the vast majority of this investment is for new rail infrastructure, which will contribute to sustained growth in southern Italy."

The station came into use yesterday (11 June). To begin with there will be 36 high-speed trains a day moving 10,000 passengers.

Later this will increase to 56 trains as more infrastructure and further phases of the station are completed.

The station design uses an elevated concourse of steel ribs clad in Corian acrylic topped by a glazed roof. Large entrances at both ends of the station meet in a central atrium overlooked by shops and cafes.

Gioia Ghezzi, president of state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato, said: "This extraordinary station is the work of a great architect and of enormous strategic value. We wanted to build a station that is not only for a transit but which, over time, will be a source of renewal for the south, creating jobs and growth."    

Images courtesy of ZHA/Jacopo Splimbergo

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