Bellambi Station Upgrade
Located north of Wollongong, Bellambi is a primarily residential suburb between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean. DesignInc provided integrated urban design, architecture and landscape design services for the upgrade, working closely with Nguluway DesignInc to bring stories from Country into the design.
The upgraded station caters to the needs of the rapidly growing population, providing accessible facilities as well as a distinctive place that integrates stories of the cultural and natural context. Applying a holistic approach, the place-specific design emerged through a context analysis followed by an iterative design process, testing the public domain elements and their interplay to arrive at the final design.
Egress limitations of the existing structures resulted in a full demolition of the station building, making way for new contemporary and accessible station building which provides welcoming facilities for the growing community. The new building contains a staff kitchenette and toilet, cleaner’s storage area, a family bathroom and platform canopies providing weather protection.
Designing from Country
Working with Nguluway DesignInc, our team applied a designing from Country methodology to the project. The physical experience of entering the station is an intimate view reflecting the natural geometry an important Dharawal stories of the local area. The form of the new canopy takes inspiration from the Illawarra Escarpment, falling gently to the south, with the soffit and walls that frame the station entry integrating textures inspired by rocks at the nearby Bellambi Point.
Bellambi Point has Aboriginal significance as a burial ground, tool site, bush schoolroom and meeting site and one of the major sites for the whale ceremony. It is also the location of one of the largest Aboriginal shell middens in NSW, testament to its use as a place where resources were stored and consumed over a long period of time.
The form of the new canopy takes inspiration from the Illawarra Escarpment, falling gently to the south, with the soffit and walls that frame the station entry introducing textures similar to rocks at the nearby Bellambi Point
Connections with the surrounding streets are improved through landscaping, upgraded pedestrian ramps, bollards to separate vehicles from pedestrian areas, a new kiss and ride zone and a bicycle shelter. Wollongong is a globally recognised ‘cycle city’, so the inclusion of bicycle facilities and connection to local cycle paths is a key priority.