Located in Piazza della Visitazione, the new Matera Centrale train station represents an important link between the city’s old town, post-war and modern districts and a key point of access to the city of Matera in the year that it’s set to become the European Capital of Culture.
“We’ve created a structure that we hope will become a sort of junction, as well as a place to take a break or interact with others. The new public space consists of two empty areas: one that runs alongside the railway tracks (six metres below ground), and a piazza (at ground level), which is sheltered and demarcated by a large roof”, comments the architect Stefano Boeri.
A large rectangular 440m2 opening has been carved into the piazza to directly link the raised public square to the space running alongside the actual platforms. The opening floods the underpass with natural light and air, which also been entirely redeveloped and transformed into an identifiable, comprehensible and therefore, usable space.
A fantastic new roof has been added to the station and fits decisively into Matera skyline’s, becoming a landmark that unmistakably pinpoints the station as a new point of access to the city.
Meanwhile, the surrounding outdoor area has been transformed into a covered piazza to be enjoyed by travellers, local residents and tourists, who will now have access to a space to meet people, wait, travel and go for a stroll, thereby injecting new life into an important area of the city that was used as a car park until very recently, despite being surrounded by several architecturally striking public buildings.
The large roof stands 12 metres above the piazza and is supported by twelve steel columns that emerge from an ‘iron floor’: it stretches beyond the length of the underpass towards ground level and provides a large covered space for travellers and local residents that can be used at all hours of the day and night, whatever the weather.
“This public space will introduce members of the public to a number of new areas that welcome and reflect the light in different ways,” explains project architect Boeri. “A tribute to the formidable perceptive experience of walking through the Sassi district and the continuous metamorphosis of stones into caves, staircases, terraces and overhangs that change in light and depth according to the location of the sun and moon.”
The project was completed using two primary materials that embody Matera’s two souls: Apricena stone – that recalls the local stone of the ancient city of the Sassi – and steel, which is evocative of the city’s more contemporary, dynamic side. The waiting area and station building are clad in stone, while the emergency platform, the two walkways and the framework of the overhead roof are in steel.
The roof has been fitted with solar panels that guarantee maximum energy self-sufficiency and offer the potential to supply the entire piazza and park with power in the future, a decision that fits in perfectly with Stefano Boeri Architetti’s progressive environmental sustainability principles and an approach that FAL has fully embraced and supported.
The system, created over an area of 1,250m2, consists of 696 solar panels that annually produce 271.440 KWh. The new station has been designed with an eye to strengthening rail transport in Matera in the near future, given that the city is destined to permanently become a unique art and history hub. The city is looking to the future and preparing to welcome an ever-greater number of commuters, visitors and tourists. Source by Stefano Boeri Architetti.
- Location: Matera, Italy
- Architect: Stefano Boeri Architetti
- SBA Founder and CEO: Stefano Boeri
- Partner in Charge and Project Director: Marco Giorgio
- Project Leader: Maddalena Maraffi
- Design Team: Elisabetta Zuccala, Bogdan Peric, Stefano Floris, Esteban Marquez, Daniele Barillari, Agostino Bucci
- Structural Design: Sce Project SRL
- Plant Design: Esa Engineering SRL
- Financial Estimates: Gad Studio SRL
- Botanical Consultant: Studio Laura Gatti
- Surveys and Findings: Apogeo SRL
- Fire Prevention: G. Lapacciana
- Building Practices and Safety Supervision: A. Francione
- Structural Design Assistance: V. Ciammarusti
- Client: Appulo Lucane Railways
- Year: 2019
- Photographs: Giovanni Nardi, Guoyin Jiang, Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti