The design and builders for Victoria’s largest-ever public transport project have been selected.
Over the weekend, premier Daniel Andrews revealed the designs for the five new metro tunnels that will be built to service Melbourne CBD. He also announced the Cross Yarra Partnership – a consortium led by Lendlease Engineering, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital – as the stations’ builder.
Each of the station designs will incorporate wider platforms, “sweeping arches”, and design features that allow natural light to filter down to the subterranean levels. A revitalisation of open public space above the stations is also evident in each of the five plans, including new underground entrances at congested locations such as City Square, Swanston Street, Flinders Street, Federation Square, Franklin Street and LaTrobe Street.
“We’re building the turn-up-and-go train system Victoria has been waiting for,” said premier Andrews on Sunday. “We’ve chosen the builders, we’ve chosen the design, and we’re getting on with it.”
Each of the fives designs demonstrates a concern with immediate context – not only in terms of specific infrastructure problems associated with each area, but also with regards to form and material.
For instance, the revealed Arden Station design incorporates materials such as clay brick, bluestone, timber, steel and glass as a nod to the suburb’s industrial history. Draft plans for Domain Station include a floating timber canopy and an underground area that relies heavily on bluestone and granite. According to the architects, this is intended as a reference to the surrounding parkland and the adjacent Shrine of Remembrance.
The two stations to be completed within Melbourne CBD will provide a direct underground pedestrian connection between Flinders Street and Melbourne Central Stations. This will finally allow direct transfers between two of Melbourne’s most congested services: Metro Tunnel and City Loop. The street-level entrances will also feature widened footpaths and a series of new public spaces.
“The CBD stations have been designed as giant auditoriums of grand proportions, with new civic spaces marking the entrances,” reads a design statement from the Victorian government. “The planting of native and Indigenous plants at both [of the CBD] stations brings nature into the city environment and helps express seasonal change.”
Early works on the Metro Tunnel project are already underway. Major construction on both the tunnels and the stations are expected to begin in 2018.