Sydney Central Station

Historic Central Station Will Be Upgraded for 21st Century

The renewal of this 112-year-old station is a pivotal milestone within the larger transformation of Sydney’s public transport infrastructure. With 96 percent of the city’s train services concentrated through the station, the historic hub forms the backbone of the metropolitan rail network. As the city seeks to enhance its transit system in relation to its urban fabric and modern mobility, this project will not only make commuting more efficient but aims to be the catalyst of cultural and economic activity. 

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The upgrade to the original Walter Vernon-designed station marks a significant phase in the modernisation process. Incorporating a clear evolution in architectural language, the design amplifies the legacy of Central Station’s neoclassical aesthetic while giving it an entirely contemporary functional and experiential atmosphere. The upgrade includes new underground platforms for the new Sydney Metro railway. Additionally, the renovation will emphasise essential heritage components such as the clock tower, the Grand Concourse and general architectural gravitas with complementary modern forms reminiscent of the original structures.

The upgrade to Central Station represents the biggest improvement to the station in decades makes it easier for customers to connect between light rail, suburban and inter-city trains, the new Sydney Metro, and buses. The approach will create a series of “urban rooms” within the station—particularly evident in key transitional areas such as new triple-height concourses. Under existing platforms, the new Central Walk concourse will connect passengers to all services for the first time, while the Northern Concourse will create a new grand entry to the station marrying new and old. Geometrical motifs of arches and vaulted ceilings in these uncluttered spaces will accentuate movement and the civic nature of the building.  

Complementing the existing structure, additions also employ engineered sandstone (GRC) as the primary material, while the contrasts in its geometric design enrich the relationship between new and old elements. These vertical slots of engineered sandstone reinterpret the traditional texture, layering and craft of historical sandstone façades of the existing buildings. The lighting accentuates these architectural details to create striking spaces. These design features add to the clarity of circulation and intuitive navigation through the new and refurbished concourses, enhancing the overall passenger journey through beautifully finished spaces. 

Client

Laing O’Rourke on behalf of Sydney Metro

Status

Construction

Location

Sydney, Australia

Collaborators

John McAslan + Partners

The Northern Concourse will create a new grand entry to the station marrying original infrastructure with similar yet modernized forms.

Under existing platforms, the new Central Walk concourse will connect passengers to all transportation services for the first time.

Geometrical motifs of arches and vaulted ceilings will aim in inhibit movement as well as the metropolitan aesthetic.

New lighting fixtures and transparent partitions add to the clarity of circulation and intuitive navigation.