Articles Victorian Tunnelling Centre stars in Australia By Design television series

This Sunday, 23 January, the Victorian Tunnelling Centre → will be presented as part of the television series, Australia By Design: Architecture.

Designed by Grimshaw, the Victorian Tunnelling Centre stars in the first episode of season five with host, Victorian Government Architect, Jill Garner, exploring the transformative educational facility with Grimshaw associate, Robert Ventresca.

Situated at Holmesglen‘s Drummond Street Campus, the Victorian Tunnelling Centre is the only facility of its kind where students can train within replica mined and bored tunnels on the same site.

The new facility provides a state-of-the-art learning environment for people from around Australia to be trained in underground construction and tunnelling, and develop the specialised skills required for critical city-shaping projects, such as Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel, North East Link and Suburban Rail Loop, as well as interstate and international projects.

Designed to simulate real-life scenarios, the centre includes an exact replica rail tunnel with segments identical to those used on the Metro Tunnel, as well as a mined tunnel to present students with general underground tunnel conditions. To support this experience-based learning there are two multi-purpose engineering workrooms, mixed reality experiences, and outdoor demonstration spaces.

Lined with curved anodised aluminium panels, the tunnel section that forms the entrance to the building defines the arrival space and heralds the significance of the centre’s learning offer and visitor engagement. The large, open, column-free interior allows the centre to efficiently adapt to evolutions in the tunnelling industry and in education and teaching practices. The façade design provides a simple, cost-effective solution that uses insulated and translucent panel systems for fast construction and optimal building performance.

Working closely with the client, Rail Projects Victoria, and Metro Tunnel Project contractor CYP Design and Construction Joint Venture, the Grimshaw team evolved the brief and design response to deliver a rational, sophisticated and highly functional building that celebrates the highly skilled workforce that is set to significantly shape Melbourne and Victoria.

Season five of Australia by Design: Architecture will premiere in Australia on Network10 at 2.30 pm AEDT, 23 January 2022.

“Grimshaw has used clever and thoughtful design to create a facility that will support the tunnelling industry as a crucial part of building the future of transport in Victoria. The centre’s exceptional education facilities are helping to train the next generation of local workers to play their part in major projects to help shape Melbourne’s connectivity and liveability.”

Peter Wilkinson, Rail Projects Victoria Chief Operating Officer

“The Victorian Tunnelling Centre is a multi-functional and really adaptable space that can be used for different purposes and by different people. As a training partner, Holmesglen is proud to be part in building a skilled workforce at the VTC to support the many infrastructure projects that will improve mobility in the next 20-30 years.”

Paul Culpan, Executive Director of Corporate and Commercial Services at Holmesglen Institute

“To help invigorate the recruitment and retention of workers in the tunnelling industry our design approach seeks to rebrand the industry for the 21st century, providing a sophisticated workshop that elevates the trade through the considered application of materials and scale.”

Robert Ventresca, Grimshaw Associate