Metro Tunnel architecture in the spotlight


Melbourne architecture enthusiasts were treated to an insider’s view of the Metro Tunnel’s spectacular new train stations during Melbourne’s Open House weekend.

The project is the biggest upgrade to Melbourne’s train network since the City Loop opened in 1981.

But it also involves the creation of five major new buildings that will become city landmarks – the tunnel’s five new underground train stations – designed by leading Australian and international architects.

The stations’ lead designer Ivan Harbour, from RSHP, and Melbourne architect Ingrid Bakker, of Hassel, were on hand to talk about what the stations aimed to give back to Melbourne before an audience of more than 400 people.

The duo talked about collaborating to design the stations and their surrounding areas, which aim to give Melburnians a sense of pride and place in these newly created public spaces.

Each station is designed to fit within its particular location. For example, Anzac Station’s timber and green canopy reflects the leafy surrounds of St Kilda Rd, while Arden Station’s massive brick arched entrance is a nod to the suburb’s industrial past.



State Library Station entrance’s grand columns reflect its namesake building opposite, while passengers entering Town Hall Station from City Square will step into a public “square beneath a square”.

The stations will also feature major artworks from renowned Australian artists including Patricia Piccinini and Maree Clarke.

The architects spoke about designing the stations to be durable parts of the city’s built environment, not just “of the moment”.

Despite being mostly underground, the stations have been designed to be open and airy, flooded with natural light from the streets above.

In response to a question from the audience, Harbour explained the stations’ colour palette was picked as a tribute to a Melbourne sunrise.

The vibrant pinks, yellows and oranges can be seen throughout all of the stations along the new line in features such as the huge yellow drum lights and pink noise reduction baffles.

When asked what their favourite station was Bakker and Harbour agreed saying “They’re like kids, they’re all good”.

With two stations – Arden and Parkville – already complete, the Metro Tunnel is set to open in 2025, one year ahead of schedule.

When the new stations open to passengers, Melburnians will be able to pick their own favourite. •

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