The Eastlink project consists of a 45km freeway linking the existing Eastern Freeway to Frankston and beyond. The architectural challenge of this project was to understand and embrace the massive scale of the undertaking, and ultimately, how to make the journey an engaging experience. We looked to the topography, geology and flora of the region, to form a palette of materials, textures and colours, which were applied as the basic vocabulary of the design.
Conceptually the desire was to create a large scale sculptural object that extended over the entire project. Primarily this concept was achieved through the manipulation and design of the noise walls. The noise walls read as taut ribbons of fractured concrete that move graphically though the landscape. The elements oscillate to and from the carriageway in plan, creating landscape potential.
The additional “furniture” on the project, such as the tolling gantries, signage, tunnel portals and bridge structures, draw directly from the master palette so that a concise and coherent outcome is achieved. The integration of public art along the freeway helps to enrich the project and Melbourne’s urban fabric.