Celebrating the re-introduction of rail to the North-East of Melbourne, Grimshaw’s vision for the project was to create a new civic identity for the areas along the corridor with a view to stimulating growth in the future Mernda Town Centre.
Connecting the growing communities in Melbourne’s inner north corridor to the CBD, the extension project has created three state-of-the-art stations at Middle Gorge, Mernda and Hawkstowe, eight kilometres of new duplicated rail line and five grade separations.
The project speaks to the local character and environment with the roof forms of traditional rural structures, such as the homestead and the shearing shed – recognisable by their distinctive shape and sweeping verandas – inspiring the configuration and identity of the three new stations. Like the buildings they reference, the stations use simple, folded roofs to generate the overall form and scale of the building, while smaller ‘veranda’ structures create an intimate human dimension over the pedestrian realm.
One year after the opening of the extension, passengers had made over 1.8 million trips on the line.
"Materials have been carefully selected to reference the local semi-rural environment. The station buildings and public realm spaces are made from basalt rock excavated for construction. Corten and galvanised steel materials emphasise the raw, agricultural heritage while reclaimed timber from site and coloured steel soffits provide texture and warmth".
Jason Embley, Principal, Grimshaw
The interiors of all three stations are intentionally open and vibrant with building elements and vertical transportation components arranged to provide passengers with clear circulation and intuitive wayfinding.
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Level Crossing Removal Authority