Work in progress: Naples’ subway station

The subway station that Spanish studio Miralles Tagliabue EMBT is currently building in Naples will be a covered public square mediating critical aspects of an area designed by Kenzo Tange.

This article was originally published on Domus 1056, April 2021.

The project for the new Naples Centro Direzionale subway station by Benedetta Tagliabue - Miralles Tagliabue EMBT lies at the centre of a 1970s high-rise glass and steel complex designed by Kenzo Tange. “Our design sets out to establish a more harmonious connection between this artificial podium and the heart of the city, generating a more sustainable and attractive public space,” the architects explain. “Our concept revolves around the idea of making Naples emerge from the underground, as if it were a volcanic bubble.”

The station is an organic object with a light timber structure and a large-scale covering, creating a shady square where people can stop. The choice of using wood derives from the need to incorporate a pre-existent structure, as well as our determination to give the square a clear identity. The green areas are an important element of the project that unfold in a continuous layout accompanying pedestrians from the city into the station.

The original idea was to use materials that shared a connection with the local Neapolitan tradition, such as basalt lava stones and a ceramic finish on the roofing. However, due to budget cuts during construction, many of the stone features and the covering itself were replaced with resins. “We intend to complete the roof with the work of a street artist, covering the structure with the portrait of a Neapolitan face that will be visible from all the surrounding buildings. Art, in fact, together with architecture and archaeology, is one of the three As characterising the projects for the Naples subway stations.”

Subway station - Centro Direzionale
Napoli, Italy
Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
10,000 sqm

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