Haramain HSR Stations – KSA
The new High Speed Rail Network is intended to cope with the influx of travellers during Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, with each of the four station plazas (with an average length of 300m) acting as a catchment area for the vast number of passengers. The arrival and departure zones were designed to the principles of a vertical division between incoming and outgoing pedestrian circulation systems, as seen at airports, which afforded two distinct typologies for the landscape. The upper elevated arrival zones allowed free flow of pedestrians to enter the station across the high quality stone plazas, with a matrix of tree and palm planting above to create areas to informally gather, meet and rest in the shade of the vegetation. At the lower levels, large areas of shade were created, punctuated by tall palms and water feature signage walls to aid navigation and create an oasis for the traveller. This concentration of lush planting at the main arrival zones forms part of a landscape hierarchy, with a transition to contemporary wadis, large sculptural sand dunes, stone terrace walling and pockets of dune planting.