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Location: Afragola, Italy
Year: 2003

What distinguishes our project for the Nuova Stazione AV Napoli Afragola from other contemporary rail terminals, even distinguishes it from our own previous work, and what makes it distinctly Neapolitan is its sensuous lyricism. Our project combines structural invention and functional precision to produce a contemporary organicism that is an integral condition of both its symbolic form and its successful operation. Our objective is to produce a station that will symbolize not only the technology and speed of the railroad but also the Naples of history and the Naples of tomorrow in all its manifest complexity.

The sculptor Giuseppe Sanmartino captured in the Sansevero Chapel a spirit that was and is Naples. His Veiled Christ sculpture captures a sensibility that is distinctly Neapolitan, the veil simultaneously covering and revealing, thus becoming a subtle, ambiguous diaphragm. We attempt to capture this ambiguity and translucency, suspended between reality and a mysterious feeling of the sacred, in our project. As with Sanmartino’s layered work in marble, the project embodies the familiar and the unfamiliar. There are aspects of structure, space, and form, which one knows from existing and past railroad stations, as well as new, unexpected, and original elements.

The station erupts from the flat Pianura Campana, seemingly heaving back the fields and orchards of the valley. The surrounding fields at times form unusual relationships to the roads and buildings. The structure is rational and fluid. Trains and automobiles glide between and under the system of great tubes, which frames a commanding view of Vesuvius. A unique, recognizable image on the landscape, the station both mirrors and complements the linear nature of the high-speed train.



Model photos