The Ormond Station and North Road Level Crossing Removal (OSNRLCR) seeks to provide an integrated urban design solution to transforming a major transport precinct whilst encompassing public space, buildings, landscape and civil engineering for public benefit.
In a collaboration with contractor John Holland, the architects at Grimshaw had a key objective of softening the harsh road and rail environment around the OSNRLCR project, choosing to do this through the creation of a series of smaller public places benefiting rail users, the community and potential future residents of the site.
“These spaces provide a sense of wellbeing and amenity that not only function well with regard to traffic, parking, servicing, pedestrian and cycle movement, but are also distinctive and pleasing places to spend time in or transition through,” commented Grimshaw on the project’s design plan.
The OSNRLCR project’s legible and distinct character of design, form and material creates an easily recognisable gateway to the Ormond station and defines the community purpose and identity of the precinct. Public open space serves both station users and the wider community, working to define the edge of the adjacent retail strip.
Dubbed as ‘premium station’, the innovative space offers optimal connections with existing pedestrian paths, bus stops all throughout North Road, bicycle paths and parking, among other amenities such as residential, retail, and green spaces for the public’s benefit. The station’s courtyard faces directly on to North Road, connecting with the landscaped public open space. Desire lines are also integrated through the public open space to create a busy and activated public realm with clear sightlines to the station concourse and vertical transport.
Infrastructure elements were also heavily integrated into the urban design response, including the treatment of the rail cutting with expressed sheet pile walls lining the sides of the cutting, and the use of coloured perforated screens to define the station precinct and conceal major services. An expansive structural slab is also positioned over the rail cutting (behind the station), providing room for future amenities or a multi-level building above the rail cutting.
A decluttered platform environment was a theme that carried throughout the project, as the under-croft area of the platforms includes coloured perforated panels with integrated lighting, designed to conceal structural elements as well as cameras and speakers being seamlessly integrated into bespoke lighting poles to further maintain a minimalist and efficient urban design.
“Construction efficiencies were realised through the design and application of prefabricated kit-of-parts building components, reducing the overall programme while enhancing the quality – a key approach to navigating the tight timeframes and budget constraints imposed on the project with short rail occupation periods,” commented the architects at Grimshaw.
Due to the complex nature of a live rail environment, meant the construction team behind the project had to establish a close working relationship with key stakeholders and consultants ensure that a high-quality architectural outcome was delivered for the precinct. The OSNRLCR seeks to promote economic, environmental and social benefits to the surrounding precinct. The development was completed in 2016.