Transport infrastructure projects change lives. Yet they are complex to get right, requiring a balance of technical requirements with considerations such as heritage, accessibility, bushfire, landscape, urban and local community contexts.
Redfern Station—Mist over the Landscape
After a number of years of planning, consultation, design and construction, the new southern concourse at Redfern Station is open. The precinct design is underpinned by a wetlands theme, with the concourse building described as the ‘Mist over the Landscape’.
DesignInc was engaged to design a new southern concourse at Redfern Station under the Transport Access Program to make all existing above ground platforms accessible, and adding new entrances to the growing North Eveleigh and South Eveleigh precincts.
Prior to settlement, the land stretching from Eveleigh to Botany Bay featured natural wetlands full of bounty for First Nations people. Food would have been plentiful within the wetlands, freshwater creeks, bushlands, and sand dunes. Mist was a common morning feature of the wetlands. That landscape was forever changed by the construction of the Alexandria Canal. The ridge that runs along the north of these wetlands, where Wilson, Little Eveleigh, and Redfern Streets are now, contain red clay soil with rich veins of Grey Marl, clay used commonly for body painting. This landscape informed the material choice for the public domain around the station entrances; red and grey brick.
Prior to settlement, the land stretching from Eveleigh to Botany Bay featured natural wetlands full of bounty for First Nations people. Food would have been plentiful within the wetlands, freshwater creeks, bushlands, and sand dunes. Mist was a common morning feature of the wetlands.
A Designing from Country methodology involving consultation with both Balarinji and later Curio Projects, this wetland theme was further enhanced by graphics and heritage interpretation throughout the precinct. The façade of the building is clad with a gradated perforated screen, detached from the roof by perimeter skylights, floating over the landscape, never touching the ground. As you move through the concourse, you become aware that the façade design gives you an experience of walking through mist.
The Eveleigh Rail Yards are important for being the birthplace of the workers unions, and for advancing the Industrial Age in modern Australia, providing employment to both Aboriginal and settler populations. A diagonal steel structure was chosen for the concourse bridge which references the Industrial Age. These support floating perforated façade screens reinterpreted as Steam. This diagonal structure is also experienced in the concourse ceilings, picking up the colours of the recently completed Gibbons Street Entrance façade of yellow, orange, and red.
A result of a co-design process, the station precinct included the transformation of Little Eveleigh Street into a shared pedestrian zone with new paving and water sensitive urban design landscape. Adaptive re-use of the old factory on Little Eveleigh Street provided for the new a new station entrance, amenities, shopfront, offices and staff facilities, retaining the brick and timber structures. It is a memorable building to all passengers who have travelled through this station due to its iconic pointy corner, its brick facades dotted with windows and it’s banded painted signage that wrap all sides of the building over the years. A building on Platform 1 was carefully moved away from the new connection of the concourse into the side of the Little Eveleigh Street Building.
Adaptive re-use of the old factory on Little Eveleigh Street provided for the new a new station entrance, amenities, shopfront, offices and staff facilities, retaining the brick and timber structures.Richard Does, Director
Thoughtfully combining Indigenous, natural, industrial, and contemporary heritage though architecture and urban design, the Redfern Station southern concourse project is truly a reflection of its place.