From the architect:
The Ormond Station and North Road Level Crossing Removal seeks to provide an integrated urban design solution that encompasses public space, buildings, landscape and the civil engineering scope of a major transport project.
A key objective of the design is to soften the harsh road and rail environment through the creation of a series of smaller public places which benefit the rail users, community and potential future residents of the site. These spaces provide a sense of wellbeing and amenity that not only function well with regard to traffic, parking, servicing, pedestrian and cycle movement, but which are also distinctive and pleasing places to spend time in or transition through.
A legible and distinct character of design, form and material creates an identifiable gateway to the station, and defines the civic purpose and identity of the precinct. Public open space serves both station users and the wider community and works to define the edge of the adjacent retail strip.
The new station is located to exploit its status as a premium station, offering optimal connections with existing pedestrian paths, the bus stops on North Road, bicycle paths and parking, kiss-and-ride, taxi ranks, car parking and other amenities such as residential, retail, and green spaces. The station forecourt faces directly on to North Road, connecting with the landscaped public open space. Desire lines are integrated though the public open space to create a busy and activated public realm with clear sightlines to the station concourse and vertical transport.
To further enhance the public realm, infrastructure elements are integrated into the urban design response. This includes the treatment of the rail cutting with expressed sheet pile walls lining the sides of the cutting, and the use of coloured perforated screens to define the station precinct and conceal major services.
The under-croft area of the platforms includes coloured perforated panels with integrated lighting to conceal structural elements. Cameras and speakers are integrated into bespoke lighting poles to declutter the platform environment. Construction efficiencies were realised through the design and application of prefabricated kit-of-parts building components, reducing the overall programme while enhancing the quality – a key approach to navigating the tight timeframes and budget constraints imposed on the project with short rail occupation periods.
The complex and live rail environment required a close and efficient working relationship to be established with the key stakeholders and consultants to ensure that a high-quality architectural outcome was delivered for the precinct and the benefit of the broader community now and in the future.
The alignment of the rail and the positioning of the station was considered to maximise commercial opportunities to the north of the site. In addition, an expansive structural slab over the rail cutting behind the station provides for the future accommodation a multi-level building above the rail cutting which will integrate seamlessly with the transport hub to support government initiatives to provide densification around key transport nodes. As such, the Ormond Station and North Road Level Crossing Removal seeks to promote economic, environmental and social benefits to the surrounding precinct.