As part of Victoria’s Level Crossing Removal Project, Wood Marsh is currently commissioned to design two premium train stations along the Mernda Line, greatly expanding amenity and connectivity to serve the dense population of the area. Distinguishing the project from the bold colouring of neighbouring lines, the Mernda Line is attributed a purple pigmentation to assert its unique identity as a geographical marking mechanism. Conceptually, the individual designs for Bell Station and Preston Station explore two separate approaches to capture the qualities of the local landmarks unique to each site.
The design for the Preston Station takes inspiration from its proximity to the Preston Markets, where an array of goods and cultures come together to create a rich tapestry of activity. Its façade is like a barcode used by the market vendors. A series of black parallel bars are pleated and injected with the bright colours observed within the market.
Through landscaping and shared paths, the project reconnects the neighbourhoods and provides new areas for recreation below the lifted railway and between the two stations, developed in collaboration with Tract Consultants.
Central to the aims of the project is an integration of indigenous co-design. A pattern using a modern interpretation of Wurundjeri shield markings runs the entire length of the project along a viaduct, casting shadows onto the rails. The landscaping includes spaces for yarning circles and plantings for weaving as well as indigenous food sources that can be harvested by the local indigenous community. Ideas were developed in collaboration with WSP and a number of Wurundjeri Aunties.