North West Metro - Winner of the 2020, AIA Walter Burley Griffin Award in Urban Design
Sydney’s Metro Northwest is an urban transit project at the metropolitan scale, integrating eight new stations and their surrounding public spaces through architecture, landscape and art. The urban strategy is a pattern book of elements unifying the stations along the 36-kilometre corridor, with subtle shifts of scale, form, colour and landscape. Each station precinct is uniquely adjusted in response to the local alignment, topography and history, giving meaningful identity to each centre. The art concept further refines this identity by referencing the past to shape the future paradigm.
Orchards that historically populated the city’s north-west are reinterpreted through a fruity colour palette that defines the train journey and signals each station, starting with cherry-red at Cherrybrook. The orchard grid also gives a poetic logic to the station plazas through urban tree groves, coloured skylit lanterns, whimsical furniture and mist installations between the trees. Colour and light infuse these elements as well as the station interiors, lifts, stairs and escalators, creating a fluid interplay between inside and outside.
At the heart of this city-shaping project is a generous ensemble of quality public spaces that simply delight. Streets, plazas, shady groves and calm, light-filled interiors are counterbalanced by the play of light bathing each station in a kaleidoscope of colour that enlivens even the subterranean concourses. The result is a richly layered public realm of memorable and uplifting spaces, all seamlessly connected.
This urban transit project is a game changer. By reaffirming the forgotten joy of train travel, it demonstrates that public infrastructure can be more than utilitarian. More importantly, by consciously crafting enduring spaces for people to enjoy in each and every community along the corridor, it creates an array of settings for public life for years to come