This is one of 85 level crossing removal projects commissioned by the Victorian Government.
Their purpose is to reconfigure intersections that are congested and dangerous, but they also bring opportunities to enrich their surrounds with great urban design.
BKK teamed up with Kyriacou Architects, Jacobs and landscape architects ASPECT Studios to design and deliver this one.
We raised the railway line onto a bridge, and delivered a new station. It has an indoor/outdoor concourse beneath the train line and its entrances and thoroughfares are located for convenient transport connections (bus, bike, car, train).
Our urban design connects the new station with the busy Brice Avenue activity centre.
We replaced Mooroolbark’s station at the same time as Lilydale’s and, architecturally, the two stations are siblings. Mooroolbark’s station is smaller but they share materiality and elemental approach.
Both are ideologically democratised public buildings – ones that are open and inviting to all, rather than showy civic monuments.
Both Lilydale and Mooroolbark stations feature zinc and hand-laid stone, popular in Yarra Valley buildings.
These natural materials, worked by humans, contrast with the massive infrastructure of the viaducts and support structures.
Both have towers that act as urban markers. Mooroolbark’s is a contemporary clock tower – a reminder that time and train travel are inseparable.
Natural materials, worked by human hands, contrast with the massive infrastructure of the viaducts and support structures.
Mooroolbark Station achieved 5 Stars using Australia’s Green Star Railway Stations sustainability rating tool.
The station’s concourse canopy is made of 100 per cent recyclable EFTE plastic polymer.
Among other measures, there is a 15 kilolitre rainwater tank that satisfies about 60% of the station’s water use and photovoltaic panels that harvest about 35% of its power.
The carpark and secure bike cage encourage safe, sustainable transport use.
Our station replaces one established in 1887, and we loved its quirky cultural history so much that we commissioned a commemorative graphic.
It was a female-led station, first run by Elizabeth Meade until 1911 then by two Canadian women who installed Mooroolbark’s first public telephone the following year. Besides city workers, local farmers used the trains to transport their produce for sale.
The local roads were unsealed, so city commuters walked to the station in their gumboots, which accumulated in a long line along the platform ready for the muddy walk home.
Melbourne designer Jordan Rowe immersed himself in the stories of Mooroolbark to create the striking concourse-level glass screens.
He has layered them with images of native flora and fauna (look for gum blossoms and cockatoos), and historic local photos. There’s Elizabeth in her station uniform, a table of fares and, of course, rows of gumboots.
The project also includes a three-storey multi-deck commuter carpark, which strengthens Mooroolbark as a transport hub.
To soften its impact, we created an array of fins for the façade. We sampled an image from nearby Brushy Creek to get the selection of greens just right. It blends the multi-deck sensitively into its bushy community.