Atelier Red + Black and Safety Net deliver an alternative East West proposal

With the State Government's East West Link project recently achieving planning approval, the community mission to save West Parkville from destruction has further intensified. Two inner city councils have announced that they will be launching legal action in an attempt to halt the project. In addition, the City of Melbourne have agreed to investigate further options to reduce the damage to be caused by this rushed and poorly conceived project.

Safety Net, the community group behind Better East West Link design have also been busy working on ways to limit the destruction. When the group presented to the assessment panel in May, convenor Anthony Peyton presented two design options which were both clearly an improvement on the Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) reference design. Option one received more media attention due to the radical redesign, which relocated the western tunnel entrance and integrated it into a rejuvenated Arden Macaulay Precinct. With the project approved as it has been it now seems less likely that this option will proceed under a Liberal State Government.

Safety Net’s attention has now shifted to option two which is more in line with the project boundary as defined by the LMA. Developed in conjunction with architects Atelier Red + Black, this option focuses on integrating the East West Link portal with the Citylink ‘Melbourne Gateway’ originally designed by Denton Corker Marshall.

The benefits of this design over the LMA reference design are numerous.

In summary:

  • Ross Straw Field is saved in its entirety.
  • 55 Homes in West Parkville are saved from destruction.
  • Fewer homes will have their amenity drastically impacted.
  • A Flemington Road exit can be incorporated to avoid further destruction of Royal park.
  • White’s Skink Habitat remains fully intact.
Image © Atelier Red + Black

From the urban design perspective the design seeks to respect the brilliant gateway by DCM whilst also having its own agile character. As the flyovers skim over the wetlands a series of sculptural forms act to soften the integration of industrial roadways with the waterway. The dynamic forms of the sound barriers imply the movement behind them, whilst reducing the visual and acoustic impact of the traffic.

Image © Atelier Red + Black
Image © Atelier Red + Black

The latest proposal shows how a more respectful design could tread lightly on the local area instead of the brute force method shown under the reference design. By undertaking this process the Safety Net has set a benchmark design upon which the wider public can be better informed, in order to judge the final LMA project design.

Image © Atelier Red + Black

This post originally appeared on the Red and Black Architect blog - click the link to see all renders produced by Atelier Red + Black. Atelier Red + Black are an Urban Melbourne Industry Hub member organisation.

Background: Atelier Red + Black reveals "A better East West Link" design (Urban Melbourne via Red and Black Architect), Toll road 'cheese stick' moved to save houses from East West Link (The Age).

3 comments

Aussie Steve's picture

Now that is a much better design for the western portal.

Now all we need is to move the eastern portal to the east side of Hoddle Street and remove the ugly flyover at Hoddle Street too.

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Purple Dawn's picture

Politicians hardly ever listen to the people, and thus always make the same mistakes.

Remember the election which was unloseable? This time it is far from that, and it's missteps like these that will bite these idiots on the arse.

Not that the other mob is any better.

Nonetheless, these aforementioned idiots, if history is any guide, have been warned.

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Vinny's picture

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the project will go ahead (I’m not confident in Yarra and Moreland’s legal challenge but good luck) so any improvement is a win. However, how likely are we going to see any improvements to design after the inevitable cost cutting?

Something needs to be done about the eastern portal. The east side of Collingwood was already flattened when Hoddle St was widened in the 70s and now they want to take out more. Forty years later and we can’t come up with a better solution?

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