Unanderra Station Upgrade
Nestled between the escarpment and the coast, Unanderra is an outer suburb of Wollongong in the Illawarra region south of Sydney. Over the last few decades, the natural beauty of the location has become overlooked—instead, busy arterial roads and swathes of light industrial development have come to dominate the perception of the area.
As part of the NSW-wide ‘Transport Access Program’ (TAP) upgrade, DesignInc and Nguluway DesignInc have been working closely with Transport for NSW, Degnan and Arcadis to re-imagine Unanderra Station, creating a place that is not only accessible and welcoming for the community, but connected to the Country within which it sits. The DesignInc and Nguluway DesignInc teams worked collaboratively to provide integrated urban design, architecture and landscape design services, as well as connecting with Custodians to ensure meaningful integration of First Nations stories. Upgrades include a new footbridge and stairs, three new lifts, a new family accessible toilet and a range of safety initiatives. Connections to the surrounding area are supported through new kiss and ride spaces, upgraded station entrances, pavements and landscaping.
Connecting with Custodians
In line with our designing from Country methodology, our team connected with Traditional Custodians through the design process. As well as referencing the landscape through the design, a number of artworks by local community members have been integrated into the landscape paving.
The Illawarra Escarpment
Visible as a spine to the west of the station, the Illawarra Escarpment is a key reference for the design. Sandstone crags, scarps, waterfalls and bushland are echoed in the forms, materials and colours of the new station design. The folded form of the footbridge mirrors the scarps of escarpment, the lifts stand tall and light in colour, with subtle scarp lines etched into the concrete with glazing running down one side of lift like a waterfall. Glistening perforated screens resemble the trees in the mountain track, supported by charcoal steel structures with trunk and branch-like forms. At each end of the footbridge, large transparent stretched mesh screens frame the view to the escarpment to the north and mountains behind Nan Tien Temple to the south. Glazing from within the lifts all face the escarpment, maintaining the connection to the landscape while in the lift.