Redfern Station Upgrade

A vibrant symbol of inclusivity, connectivity and sustainability, Redfern Station is a major hub in Sydney’s transport network—upgraded as part of the NSW Government’s Transport Access Program (TAP). DesignInc was engaged to design a new southern concourse, adopting a multidisciplinary approach that prioritises pedestrian accessibility, efficiency and safety.

Redfern Station is a transformative piece of urban infrastructure that revitalises, reconnects, provides universal access and enhances the station and precinct. The new southern concourse and station entries at Little Eveleigh and Marian Streets provide high quality, high amenity places that draw on their rich natural, cultural and built heritage context.

Design cues are taken from Eveleigh’s original wetland landscape as well as its more recent industrial past, with ideas of mist and steam expressed in the perforated cladding, and views framed towards local vistas and the existing heritage buildings.  Design adaptively reuses the industrial warehouse at 125 Little Eveleigh Street as a main entrance. Along with the new public connection across the railway line, shared pedestrian and bicycle zones improve access to local facilities.

Gadigal Country
Redfern, New South Wales
Transport for NSW, Novorail Alliance
Project Contact
Richard Does
Brett Boardman
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Prior to settlement, the land stretching from Eveleigh to Botany Bay featured natural wetlands full of bounty for First Nations people.  The wetlands and freshwater creeks would produce mist in the cool mornings amongst the bushland and sand dunes.

Richard Does
Design Director, DesignInc

Mists over the Landscape

Prior to settlement, the land stretching from Eveleigh to Botany Bay featured natural wetlands full of bounty for First Nations people.  The wetlands and freshwater creeks would produce mist in the cool mornings amongst the bushlands and sand dunes.  This landscape was forever changed by the construction of the Alexandria Canal which drained the wetlands. The ridge that runs along the north of these wetlands—where Wilson, Little Eveleigh, and Redfern Streets are, contain red clay soil with bands of grey clay commonly used for body painting. This clay informed the material choice for the public domain around the station entrances with red and grey brickwork.

A Designing from Country methodology involving community consultation through Balarinji and Curio Projects saw further enhancement of the wetland theme through graphics and heritage interpretation throughout the precinct. The building façade 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.

Little Eveleigh Street incorporates new paving and water sensitive urban design and landscape co-designed with neighbours capturing the spirit of the locale and celebrating Redfern’s cultural heritage, geology and flora.

Sustainable, equitable underpinnings

Climate-responsive design is central to the upgrade. Materials chosen for the concourse and stair are durable, providing protection to commuters while allowing for natural air flow. Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is embedded in the public domain design. The transformation of Little Eveleigh Street into a shared zone has seen asphalt footpaths replaced with planting beds and raingardens installed in front of houses to filter stormwater runoff. Solar panels installed on the Marion Street station entrance feeds into the grid and rainwater is captured and stored for irrigation, toilets and cleaning purposes.

A new public space at Marian Street is a shared zone with integrated street furniture, landscape and paving. Little Eveleigh Street has also been transformed along its entire length to a wide landscaped shared zone. This was made possible by the relocation of residential car parking spaces to a new offsite location within TfNSW land. The improved streetscape, additional landscaping, paving treatments and new canopy trees together provide improved amenity to both private residents and pedestrians/cyclist, and help ameliorate the urban heat island effect.

By inserting a new southern aerial concourse and entries on either side of the tracks, Redfern Station is now better for people. There’s now safer access to all above-ground platforms, clear wayfinding, and connectivity to and through the entire precinct.

Mary Anne McGirr
Director, DesignInc

Homage to modern industry

The Eveleigh Rail Yards are known 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 new concourse bridge which references the Industrial Age, supporting floating perforated façade screens reinterpreted as Steam/Mist. 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.

Adaptive re-use of the old factory on Little Eveleigh Street provides a new a new station entrance, amenities, shopfront, offices and staff facilities, retaining the brick and timber structures.  A memorable building due to its shape and proximity to the station, and having local heritage significance, made it the clear choice to transform into the station entrance.

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.

Alanjohn Jones - DesignInc Sydney

Alanjohn Jones

Senior Landscape Architect, Sydney

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Aiden Wong

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Bikal Ghimire

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Wenyi Li - DesignInc Sydney

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