John McAslan + Partners and Woods Bagot are the architectural partners delivering the Sydney Metro upgrade to Central Station, a key component of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
The renewal of Australia’s biggest railway station is underway, with a recent announcement that Laing O’Rourke has won the $955 million contract for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest upgrade of Central Station, including Central Walk. The station is a key one within the $20 billion Sydney Metro project, Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure project.
Jointly leading the multi-disciplinary, international design team are architects John McAslan + Partners and Woods Bagot, whose bold, can-do architecture will give the station an entirely new functional and experiential vibe.
Key heritage qualities of the 112-year-old station will be emphasised along with the introduction of new architecturally-inspiring elements as part of a scheme that amplifies Central Station as a Sydney icon. Signalling a step-change in the station’s functional, urban and cultural contributions to the city, the project will trigger much higher levels of people-movement and energy, and wider civic and commercial renewal.
The design team has impeccable credentials. Renowned UK architect John McAslan + Partners designed the highly celebrated and multi-awarded regeneration of London’s King’s Cross Station, restoring the 170-year-old station and adding a highly innovative concourse to accommodate up to 150,000 passengers per day. Woods Bagot’s exemplary transformation of Sydney’s Wynyard Walk commuter link injects civic, cultural and commercial energy by connecting Wynyard Station with Barangaroo and the waterfront.
Below ground, the atmospheric qualities of volume, surface, and natural light characterise the design scheme for the Central Station upgrade. With respect to existing hierarchies of arches and materials, the proposal has a clear relationship with Walter Vernon’s architecture of the station above. While the interfaces between old and new will be quite distinct, they will be architectural segues rather than jump-cuts.
The Central Station metro upgrade includes the main concourse, Central Walk (connecting the Sydney Metro platforms to Chalmers Street), northern concourse (interface between the new metro and the existing station) and the metro box platforms.
Central Station is the backbone of Sydney’s public transport network, with more than 250,000 people passing through the station every day. That number is forecast to grow to 450,000 in the next two decades. The Central Walk concourse will better connect customers to trains, buses, light rail and the new Sydney Metro. Features of Central Walk include:
- A 19-metre wide tunnel from Chalmers Street, linking to new metro platforms under Central
- New, easy access points to Sydney Trains platforms 16 to 23
- Escalators directly to suburban platforms for the first time.
As Sydney director Domenic Alvaro explains, the project is a significant win for Woods Bagot and the result of the firm’s deliberate expansion in the Australian transport sector.
Sydney Metro is Australia’s largest public transport project. It will transform Sydney, delivering more trains and faster services for customers across the network. A new stand-alone railway network, Sydney Metro is the solution to clearing the city’s public transport bottlenecks and will deliver a quality of rail service never before seen in Australia.
Sydney Metro City & Southwest will extend metro rail between Chatswood and Bankstown, including a new crossing beneath Sydney Harbour, new railway stations in the lower North Shore and CBD, and the upgrade and conversion of the current line between Sydenham and Bankstown.