Emu Plains Commuter Carpark

Located at the base of the Blue Mountains on the outer western fringes of the Sydney Basin, Emu Plains is a popular location for commuters. To support ‘park and ride’ transport options, Emu Pains carpark has been substantially upgraded and expanded, including a new pedestrian bridge connecting the carpark with Emu Plans Station. Our team provided integrated urban design, architecture and landscape design services for the upgrade.

With the aim of creating facilities that are both functional and beautiful, the upgrade sensitively embeds a range of sustainability and interpretation features, elevating it from functional infrastructure to a place that is connected to the landscape and meaningful for the community.

Dharag Country
Emu Plains, New South Wales
Transport for NSW, Stephen Edwards Construction
Project Contact
Garth Davies
Josh Raymond
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Sustainability is at the core of the design. Expansion of the carpark, to comprise over 800 car spaces, supports large-scale ‘park and ride’ transport to and from the city and is a game-changer for the Lower Blue Mountains community. The upgrade includes provision for at least 100 electric vehicle spaces, supporting the transition away from fossil fuels to an electric future in the transport sector.

Connecting to landscape and place

A number of interpretive initiatives weave stories of the place into the design of the carpark and pedestrian bridge, creating a place that resonates with history and culture. First Nations artist Hayly Pigrim was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of a wallaby, ‘Buru’, for the main entry to the carpark. Emus, which were previously abundant in the area, are a key reference for the highly visible pedestrian bridge which spans 32 metres above the freeway. The trusses in the pedestrian bridge reference the unique engineering of emu bones, with the thickness and length ratio of the long powerful upper and lower leg bones of the emu. In addition, the colour of the bridge is inspired by the colour of emu eggs.

Landscaping sensitively responds to a complex range of practical considerations. A drainage channel is vegetated with hardy plants suitable for frequent water inundation. Water Saving Urban Design (WSUD) initiatives integrate shade trees to mitigate the urban heat island effect and lower storey planting in extensive vegetated swales along the car park aisles drains stormwater runoff from the car park surface. The landscaping brings greenery into the large area of car parking and supports endemic flora and fauna.

Accessibility is a key component in the design, with the pedestrian bridge a number of accessible car spaces ensuring easy access between the carpark and the station.

Ryan Chen

Senior Designer, Sydney