The major transport scheme known as the Metro Tunnel Project is intended as a “catalyst for urban renewal” in the city.
The collaboration between London-based firms Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Weston Williamson, and Australian practice Hassell will see the construction of five new train stations: Parkville, Town Hall, North Melbourne, State Library and Anzac.
Each station has been designed to maximise on public space and natural light. Renders show North Melbourne station featuring a vaulted red-brick entrance, while the ceiling of State Library will be finished with criss-cross wooden beams.
The interiors of Town Hall is to be supported by tree-like concrete columns, and Anzac will be sheltered by a huge timber-framed roof. Visitors to Parkville will travel down to the station’s platforms via peaked, glass walkways.
“This project isn’t just about adding new stations, it actually creates five extraordinary new public buildings and transformative public places for Melbourne,” said a joint statement from the practices.
“Together these new places will add a brand new layer to Melbourne, amplifying and connecting to what makes our city one of the world’s most liveable.”
Alongside the creation of five stations, the project will also see the development of new communal areas and green spaces, and the overall improvement the city’s walkability.
The Metro Tunnel project is set for completion in 2025, a year ahead of the initially scheduled end date for the project.
In Sydney another major metro project is underway. Last year it was unveiled British firm Foster + Partners was heading up the design of a chain of seven stations along an extension of the Sydney Metro, which will tunnel beneath the city’s harbour.
Most recently Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has designed a distillery in Scotland with an undulating green roof, which hints at the bulbous form of whisky stills, and Hassell is currently working with Dutch practice MVRDV to devise structures that could combat flooding in San Francisco.
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