21 Jun 23

Art, history and people connect in new Central Station concourse

On big projects, it’s the details that matter. Case in point – the new North-South concourse at Central Station Sydney, designed by architecture studio Woods Bagot.

It’s a vast, vital connection enabling commuters to move swiftly through Australia’s busiest rail hub, connecting Central Walk with Northern concourse.

But rather than rushing, many people choose to linger and absorb the detail.

Some pause to consider the artworks by Rose Nolan, others slow to examine the ‘clock wall’ paying homage to time and rail through cleverly crafted GRC panels punctuated by an original Central Station clock.

Fragments of history excavated during construction and displayed deeply lit in a large, perforated steel installation also attract attention from commuters discovering a different aspect to their daily transit.

Sydney Director and Global Design Director Domenic Alvaro says people and heritage are the heart of Woods Bagot’s design, itself a journey through time and space.

“We conceived a very tactile, very human story that focuses on the ease of the passenger journey coupled with a great experience speaking to context and place,” says Alvaro.

“The public art transcends the boundaries of traditional art galleries, reaching a vast and diverse audience every day.”

For Alvaro, an important though subtle element of North-South concourse is a simple sketch carved into the clock wall.

“The sketch represents the narrative of the original station and iconic clock tower coupled with a carved stone expression that is subterranean,” says Alvaro.

“The idea was to ensure a cohesiveness as a singular station design, preserving the future heritage of the original station and new underground Metro Station.”

Sydney Principal & Transport Lead at Woods Bagot John Prentice says the heritage touch points celebrate the rich history of Central Station and its role in Sydney life.

“We’ve had a great response – it’s very satisfying to see the reaction of people to the details ingrained throughout the project,” he says.

“Some wonder if it’s a museum or train station.”

Woods Bagot is the lead architect on the $955 million Central Station renewal, collaborating on the Northern concourse with John McAslan + Partners, while working closely with contractor Laing O’Rourke and Sydney Metro across the entire project.

The focus for Laing O’Rourke now is delivering the new underground Sydney Metro station, the metro concourse, a new entrance on Chalmers St, completing the refurbishment of existing platforms, and putting the finishing touches to the project due to complete in 2024.


Access all areas – Central Walk brings clarity to the commute

Central Walk, a key element of the $955 million renewal of Sydney’s Central Station, is now open – transforming the passenger journey through the heart of Australia’s largest rail hub.

Media enquiries
Martin Kelly
Content and Communications Leader (Australia & New Zealand)
Woods Bagot

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