Mernda Rail Extension

  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Michael Kai
  • © Nick Stephenson Tract Consultants
  • © Nick Stephenson Tract Consultants
  • © Nick Stephenson Tract Consultants
  • © Nick Stephenson Tract Consultants

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Highly Commended

Region

Not in UK/ROI

Local Authority Area

Not in UK/ROI

Information about this scheme

The vision for the Mernda Rail Extension was for a new civic identity along the rail corridor to stimulate growth in the future Mernda Town Centre, and foster connections between local communities. The station design references the local context, with roof forms of traditional rural structures - homesteads and shearing sheds - inspiring their architecture and identity; simple, folded roofs generate the form and scale of the buildings for trains, while verandas create a human dimension over the pedestrian realm. Intertwining and creating a cohesive narrative between the stations is a design language also rooted in semi-rural themes. Abstractions were taken from local flora and the river red gums that feature throughout the landscape, and used to create patterns within retaining walls, forms for piers and crossheads, and motifs for bridge claddings. As the largest of the three sites along the extended line, Mernda Station is a fully integrated transport hub. It includes a bus interchange, cycle and kiss-and-ride facilities, taxi ranks, a new community space and skate park. The design uses the underside of the platform to create a large sheltered public space that marks the entry to the station, while its sloping roofline forms a landmark for Mernda.

Middle Gorge Station’s landscaped forecourt offers relaxing terraced spaces for people to gather in. Hawkstowe Station features a new community space, and platforms with views over Plenty Gorge Park. Each of the station’s interiors are open and vibrant with building elements and vertical transportation providing clear and intuitive wayfinding. Materials have been selected to reference the local environment and heritage context, and minimize construction waste where possible. Repurposed from site excavations, basalt rock is used in gabion baskets to clad the station buildings, while reclaimed river red gum timber is used as seating, landscape elements and bike store cladding. Corten, galvanised and raw steel are used for stair balustrades and facade elements to provide a robust and natural feel to the spaces. This materiality extends across the corridor with continuous Corten screening to the viaduct creating a dynamic treatment that will continue to shift in colour as time progresses. Native vegetation features as part of the station precincts and rainwater is harvested at the sites. Natural light floods the platform areas via facade glazing and skylights, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Construction efficiencies were key to navigating the tight timeframes and budget constraints imposed on the project. This was achieved through the design and application of prefabricated elements including elevated rail viaduct structures and station building components, which also worked to ensure high quality architectural outcomes. The project was delivered ahead of time, with thousands of local residents now connected to Melbourne’s city centre.

Credits

Architect

Grimshaw

Urban Design

Wood Marsh

Project Manager

KBR

Other

KBR (Rail Engineer)

Structural Engineer

KBR

Services Engineer

KBR

Urban Design

Tract

Landscape Architect

Tract

Client

Level Crossing Removal Project, Victorian Government

Project Manager

Becca

Building Contractor

John Holland Group

Primary Use Class

Class D2 - Assembly and Leisure