Progress on Melbourne's new underground rail line

22 April 2024
Credit: Hassell/Weston Williamson + Partners/RSHP
  • Arden Station
  • ANZAC Station
  • Parkville Station
  • State Library Station
  • Town Hall Station

Hassell/Weston Williamson + Partners/RSHP


Melbourne, VIC


First station ready for testing ahead of 2025 grand opening

Arden Station – the first of five new stations making up the forthcoming Metro Tunnel in Melbourne, Australia – is now complete and ready for testing ahead of the underground rail line’s grand opening in 2025. The design for the Metro Tunnel is a world-class collaboration between leading design practices Hassell, Weston Williamson + Partners and RSHP. The biggest-ever public transport infrastructure project in the state of Victoria’s history involves building twin nine-kilometre tunnels and five new underground stations: Arden, Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and ANZAC.

The station entrance is defined by 15 precast brickwork archways, which required a total of 104,000 locally manufactured bricks to complete. Conceptualised as a skewed arch and drawing on the industrial history of the local area, the bricks travel all the way down to the concourse below ground-level, using the materiality as a point of navigation from platform to ground. Due to the vast scale of the arches, each was fabricated in three individual segments offsite and then carefully craned into their final connected positions.

Underpinned by the philosophy of an ‘open metro’, the design for Arden Station incorporates three central skylights that draw natural light down into the concourse and platform spaces – giving passengers the advantage of knowing before leaving the station if they might need an umbrella. With a more long-term nod to climactic conditions, the above-ground buildings stand on an elevated podium, raised 1.5m above standard grade, offering passive flood protection designed to withstand a one-in-1000-year weather event.

The design for the five stations draws on the history and character of each location, featuring materials such as brick, glass, timber and bluestone. Intended to become new destinations in their own right, with shopping, cafes, restaurants and art installations, the designs are intended to celebrate the joy and efficiency of travel. Mark Loughnan, principal at Hassell, states: “The five new stations are public, civic buildings. They’re a real contribution to the city. It’s really important people feel a sense of joy when they move through these stations.”

Trains will be arriving at one of Melbourne’s Metro stations early a whole year early, as the new Town Hall station is ahead of schedule and will now open in 2025 rather than in 2026 as originally planned.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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