Towradgi Station Upgrade
Towradgi Station, located in the Illawarra region between the escarpment and the sea, has been upgraded with accessible and welcoming facilities for the local community. As well as providing integrated urban design, architecture and landscape design services for the upgrade, the DesignInc and Nguluway DesignInc teams worked together to apply a Designing from Country methodology, consulting with Traditional Custodians to understand the stories of the site and bring them into the design.
New and upgraded station facilities include a new footbridge with safety screens, new lifts and stairs connecting from the footbridge to the platforms, platform canopies to provide shelter for passengers, an accessible bathroom as well as wayfinding and lighting. Multi-modal transport is supported through inclusion of bicycle hoops, kiss and ride spaces and improved accessible pedestrian pathways linking the station to the surrounding suburban streets. Connections to the adjacent pocket park are improved through pathways, landscaping and seating.
Designing from Country
Towradgi Station is on the land of the Wodi Wodi Dharawal people. Consultation with Traditional Custodians saw stories of the ‘seven warriors’ story in the adjacent park and the ocean emerge as being important for the site. The transition between these two different storylines has been carefully interwoven into the design, with gestures of the escarpment at its tree canopy at the upper levels of the station, and the ocean at the lower levels. Passengers move from one to the other, as though moving from the mountains to the sea.
The seven trees located in close proximity to the station are regarded as symbolic guardians—or protectors—of the place. A visual motif of the canopies of these trees continues from the adjacent parkland into the perforated screens along the footbridge, flowing through the station. The design is stratified, with the rough textured base of the tree imprinted into concrete lift shafts, and the the smoother, lighter limbs and leaf canopy expressed in the perforated metal footbridge screen as well as the glass of the lift shafts.
The saltwater and ocean story is interpreted through a water and wave motifs that are inlaid into concrete retaining walls flanking the tracks and platforms and pathways in the the adjacent park.
The project integrates a wide range of sustainability initiatives that have been designed to achieve Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) certification. Environmentally sustainable initiatives include: integration of climate change impact assessment (storm surge, bushfires, floods, extreme heat); low maintenance landscaping; use of recycled and low carbon materials such as ‘green concrete’ for the slab and pathways, and ‘foam concrete’ for cladding; and 10% reduction in potable water. Social sustainability initiatives include strategies that respond to the needs of the community and place, including integration of First Nations stories and accessibility standards.