Hassell recently presented its gigantic Metro Tunnel Project at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) alongside collaborators Weston Williamson and RSHP. We spoke to Hassell principal Ingrid Bakker about the scale of the work and what’s driving the design.
December 18th, 2023
Timothy Alouani-Roby: Metro Tunnel is an enormous project – how do you go about the initial stages of comprehending its scale, factoring in all the different considerations and coming up with a coherent big-picture approach?
Ingrid Bakker: The Metro Tunnel will change the way we move around Melbourne, unlocking new parts of our city and new ways of engaging with those places we love today. While the Metro Tunnel reflects global best practice transport planning, it’s also uniquely Melbourne.
The project will deliver a legacy of outstanding stations and precincts. The architecture embraces natural light and openness – reflecting our city’s playful spirit and civic pride. The designs reflect and amplify unique qualities of each place and celebrate craft and detail. Embedded artworks will reveal local stories, values and connections.
The overarching design approach is underpinned by a number of key drivers:
How important are biophilic considerations?
It was a big emphasis in the architectural brief but the reality is the designs are more about embracing the best aspects of nature, such as fresh air and daylight and incorporating them into the station designs rather than simply mimicking nature.
How does your approach differ from the way a similarly large infrastructure project might have been understood in the past?
Melbourne hasn’t had a project of this scale for a very long time. There has been a lot of sensitivity in terms of how each station is integrated into the existing fabric of the city, how each design respects the surrounding heritage buildings and how important it’s been to engage with different stakeholders from Traditional Owners to universities, hospitals and the City of Melbourne.
In terms of heritage we’ve been particularly sensitive. At Anzac Station, for example, we integrated light canopies so as not to impact on the shrine and the boulevard.
How important is the exposure at WAF and how does this Australian infrastructure project compare with trends internationally?
As an international design firm, it’s important to showcase our Australian projects on a global stage such as WAF.
The five stations are very generous with a lot of attention to design detail. Compared to places like Singapore, where station design is quite modest, the stations and surrounding landscape design for Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project make a statement. The decision to provide generous, open designs was quite a conscious one.
Melbourne’s five new Metro Tunnel stations are a collaboration between international design practices Hassell, Weston Williamson and RSHP as part of the CYP D&C Joint Venture.
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Marylou Cafaro’s first trendjournal sparked a powerful, decades-long movement in joinery designs and finishes which eventually saw Australian design develop its independence and characteristic style. Now, polytec offers all-new insights into the future of Australian design.
Channelling the enchanting ambience of the Caffè Greco in Rome, Budapest’s historic Gerbeaud, and Grossi Florentino in Melbourne, Ross Didier’s new collection evokes the designer’s affinity for café experience, while delivering refined seating for contemporary hospitality interiors.
With the help of Buro’s range of soundproof pods and ergonomic chairs, private offices are evolving into spaces that balance privacy with the need for collaboration and flexibility.
Libertine Parfumerie’s flagship store in Sydney, crafted by local interior designer Tamsin Johnson, stands as a testament to a 15-year dream realised.
Zip Water recently introduced the new HydroTap Celsius Plus All-in-One Pull-Out with an exclusive event in Sydney attended by Neale Whitaker and Justine Schofield.
This executive lounge and Chinese restaurant in the Shangri-La Qiantan draws sumptuously from the architecture of Shanghai Shikumen houses.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
Punt Mobles’ versatile storage solutions, led by the ever-popular Literatura and available through Design Nation, cut out the tedium and waste of custom joinery.
The Regional Architecture Association (RAA) is planning something big for regional New South Wales! MiCRO kicks off in March, but not before a lead-up online event on 21st February.
Located in the gallery precinct of Vienna’s historic old town, the V-ZUG brand display team set out to do something different for a new market, and the outcome is breathtaking.