Work progresses on new Perth rail line
Station designs by Woods Bagot respond to local context
Local context and character play a starring role in the rail stations designed by Tenderstream member Woods Bagot for the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line in Perth – a creative influence that becomes clearer by the day as construction advances. Site phase works are now under way at all stations along the new line: Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook. Woods Bagot is the lead architect and urban design consultant on the project, working in collaboration with architects Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick and landscape architects TCL and UDLA.
The linear shapes of native bush from the Swan Coastal Plain - the geographic feature which contains the Swan River as it travels west to the Indian Ocean - are most easily discerned in the rooflines of Ellenbrook and Malaga Stations, with steel framing completed at both. They are the most advanced of the five stations being constructed by lead contractor Laing O’Rourke for the new 21-kilometre METRONET line that will connect the city’s north-east suburbs to Perth’s rail network when complete in 2024.
Woods Bagot’s Perth studio chair Kukame McPierzie says a common design language is maintained across all stations, but each retains a singular identity and sense of place reflecting the immediate site context and character. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and we’ve drawn inspiration from the local bush and the suburbs the line will serve to deliver stations with a sense of place while focusing on human scale and commuter experience,” says McPierzie.
Charl Testa, transport leader Perth for Woods Bagot, says the design reality has exceeded expectations. “The finishes are fantastic, and the roof geometry is doing exactly what we wanted it to do which sit comfortably in the local landscape,” says Testa. But it’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. “We’ve encountered a few challenges along the way in terms of the roof geometry, especially the roof edge, and worked closely with the sub-consultants over many months to get it right. We’re really pleased to see it’s been worth all the effort.”
Testa adds that simplicity – a major design goal for the stations – is one of the hardest things for a designer to achieve. “If you’re an architect you know that to achieve that simplicity, a lot of work has gone into it. And these roofs are like that. You would not believe how hard it’s been to make it look so simple.”
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