Duomo station is part of the underground train subway network-Linea 1 which is an 18-km line, part of the Naples transit system in Italy. Linea 1 was renamed Metrò dell’Arte, after contemporary art installations were set up in some of the stations. Duomo station was opened for the public to use in August 2021, located in Piazza del Duomo, also known as ‘Cathedral Square’, and is the prime city square in Milan due to its central location, both in terms of historic and geographical importance. The context is not only significant to the people, but also the character and image of the place. Developing this, Architects Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas tried to respect and uphold this relationship between the history and architecture of the place.
Studio Fuksas, an internationally renowned office with sites in Shenzhen, Rome, and Paris is the mastermind behind the project. Massimiliano first called the office Granma, which was opened in 1967 after which a collaboration was made to open Fuksas in different locations. The team defines the concept behind the project as being “an astronaut’s walk” with travelers reaching the underground section through a series of panels that change color based on the hour of the day. The colors change from light blue to orange during sunset and a darker color at night. These colors have been inspired by the original concept, which is the “astronaut’s walk” since astronauts see this range of color of the earth from the moon. Inscriptions in Greek were found in the excavations that name the winners of the competitions. These competitions were of both sport (like the Olympic games) and artistic disciplines (like the Panathenaic games). It is said that Archaeological excavations are set to continue after the opening of the station.
New findings were unraveled during the construction of this station that included the base of a temple that was 8 meters below the surface, from the first century AD, a portico in the Flavian style of Architecture, and a running track which currently are being displayed like museum artifacts enclosing about 1000 square meters. Due to the unexpected discovery of the long-lost temple, the initial construction period extended and became a laborious and intensive one.
The long-lost temple of the Neapolitan Isolympic Games has been undiscovered for quite a long time due to which its discovery sparked a lot of attention from the Archaeology community. The entire structure, including the roof and the wall, is embedded with LED hexagonal lights that provide a sense of movement and flow to the overall space. The station is split into two levels, with the bottom housing the museum space and the geodesic bubble that welcomes visitors into the space. The second floor comprises all the paths used for transit.
The basic structure, which looks like a large glass structure made using Corten steel and glass from the ground level has a pedestrian zone towards one side and the train route on the other. Due to the transparent dome structure, visitors have the opportunity to view and appreciate the temple from above. The design has been formulated with a futuristic eye, while strongly preserving the past that helps people to not only connect with the past but also appreciate the modern design. The uniqueness is that the design itself is constructed around a building of historical and artistic importance due to which commuters are able to be a part of it on a daily basis, without having to make a special visit.
To unify the walls and ceiling structure, the same contemporary scotch steel material was selected, along with travertine for the floors to highlight the past. The exit staircase has been modeled in lava stone, which is a type of stone that has evolved from volcano rock. This material definition helps to segregate the roof and wall from the flooring which is usually the main medium for walking or transportation.
The mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris believes that Duomo station is the most beautiful metro station in the world which obviously hails from its unique design. The geodetic bubble-like structure present at the bottom floor serves as an entry point to the station and has a basic triangular steel frame with glass that makes the space look larger and allows ambient light into the space. The form of the building has been devised to highlight particular sections and make the others look unified as part of the concept to give importance to the past and at the same time, to understand the context carefully.
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- Designboom (2021). Fuksas-designed ‘duomo’ station merges archaeology with infrastructure in Napoli. [online]. (Last updated 25 August 2021). Available at: newly opened ‘duomo’ station merges archaeology with infrastructure in napoli (designboom.com) [Accessed 03 September 2021].
- Fuksas (2021). Naples Subway. [online]. Available at: Naples Subway / Duomo Station – Fuksas [Accessed 03 September 2021].