Metro Tunnel’s Arden Station connects the past with the future 

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The internationally renowned lead designer for the Metro Tunnel’s five state-of-the-art stations says the “simplicity and beauty” of North Melbourne’s industrial past has inspired the design for the new Arden Station. 

The station sits in the heart of Arden, which is set to become a thriving bio-medical and health sciences precinct accommodating up to 34,000 jobs and around 15,000 people by 2051.  

The building sets the scene for a whole new area to be developed around it, while the station entrance’s massive brick arches reflect North Melbourne’s rich industrial history and character. 

London-based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (RSHP), Ivan Harbour, who is overseeing the design process for the stations, said Arden Station sits comfortably in its surroundings. 

“It’s not about imposing something that is alien to the place,” Mr Harbour said. “We’re using Arden’s very recent industrial past to help inform the design decisions … the simplicity and beauty of [Arden’s] buildings is very apt.”

Mr Harbour said the beautiful arches in the station entrance were inspired by 19th century British railway arches. 

“It’s been done with modern methods of construction; we’re using big, prefabricated pieces, but we’re still using the brickwork, which really is a reference to Arden’s very recent history, as part of the industrial areas of Melbourne. 

“As the city grows around it, it will help reinforce that memory of its recent past as an industrial place.”

Melbourne will be home to five stunning new underground stations when the Melbourne Metro project opens in 2025, including Arden, each combining functionality, space, and natural light. •

The station designs are an international collaboration between London-based firms RSHP and Weston Williamson and Partners, and Australian architects Hassell. 

Mr Harbour said of all the major projects he has worked on around the globe, the Metro Tunnel Project was a stand-out.  

“I’ve worked on a number of metro stations outside of Melbourne and they’re all great, but this is actually at a different level,” Mr Harbour said.

“It’s going to feel uplifting and joyful. I think it’s going to be pretty special.

“The stations will be more than just train stations; they will be extraordinary new landmarks for Melburnians to enjoy for years to come.”  

Once complete, the Metro Tunnel Project will create capacity for more than half a million extra passengers each week during peak times and save passengers in the suburbs up to 50 minutes a day on a return trip. 

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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