Woods Bagot and rail experts John McAslan + Partners (JMP) are the architectural partners tasked with delivering the upgrade to Central Station, a key component of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
Central Station is a key project within the $20 billion Sydney Metro project, Australia's biggest public transport infrastructure project, while Laing O'Rourke has won the $955 million contract to build the Sydney Metro City & Southwest upgrade of Central Station, including Central Walk.
According to Woods Bagot, the key heritage qualities of the 112-year-old station will be emphasised along with the introduction of new architecturally-inspiring elements as part of a scheme that amplifies Central Station as a Sydney icon.
Signalling a step-change in the station's functional, urban and cultural contributions to the city, the project will trigger much higher levels of people-movement and energy, and wider civic and commercial renewal.
Renowned UK architects JMP designed the multi-awarded regeneration of London's King's Cross Station, restoring the 170-year-old station and adding a highly innovative concourse to accommodate up to 150,000 passengers per day, while Woods Bagot's transformation of Sydney's Wynyard Walk commuter link injects civic, cultural and commercial energy by connecting Wynyard Station with Barangaroo.
Woods Bagot principal, John Prentice says his firm will "transform Sydney’s Central Station into a place like no other".
"Generous, distinctive and memorable, Central Station's new underground concourse will eliminate the ‘travel trudge’. Our design approach has been to walk in the shoes of the customer every step of the way to create a truly great experience.”
John McAslan, executive chairman of JMPO says, "The world’s leading cities, Sydney among them, are under extraordinary pressure in terms of the development of transport infrastructure in relation to urban fabric. With 96 percent of Sydney train services currently calling at Central Station, this interchange performs a critical function and impression of the city.”
Design leader for Woods Bagot, Neil Hill, says the concept design is intended to be purposeful, functional, sculpturally rich and synthesised with the historic qualities of the original station.
"The craft and richness of stonework evident in the existing building are reinterpreted to form new textured sandstone walls into the new Metro Box, establishing the exceptionally crafted subterranean architecture firmly within the historic precinct and providing a civic quality to the new station works," Hill says.
The Central Station metro upgrade includes the main concourse, Central Walk (connecting the Sydney Metro platforms to Chalmers Street), northern concourse (interface between the new metro and the existing station) and the metro box platforms.
Central Station is the backbone of Sydney’s public transport network, with more than 250,000 people passing through the station every day.
That number is forecast to grow to 450,000 in the next two decades, according to the NSW government.