Architecture ideas competition generates light rail solutions

The winners of the Australian Institute of Architects’ Light Rail Station Ideas Competition have been revealed at the ACT Architecture Awards this evening.

Launched in December 2013, the competition sought ideas for the design and siting of a light rail station at Dickson along the City to Gungahlin Transit Corridor, responding to the nature of Canberra’s landscape, integration into the local community and architectural presentation as a transport hub.

Four submissions from a total of 21 entries were selected by the jury for recognition, representing radically different solutions to the design of the light rail station and its potential contributions to Canberra’s principal transport corridor and the city’s urban heart.

Ann Cleary (University of Canberra) and Cassandra Cutler (Total Project Group) were awarded first prize for their entry, Urban Line.

The winning light rail design is devoted to the creation of fine-grained urban pavilions calibrated to the walkable city. Existing parks and green spaces along Northbourne Avenue are engaged and linked as cultural hubs by means of the light rail, intensifying the opportunities for transit corridor users to engage with each other in a humane city environment.

Simon Corbell MLA, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, presented Ann and Cassandra with the accolade via video link to Venice, where they are attending the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale as part of their prize.

Recent graduates of architecture Sarah Herbert and Kate Shepherd won second prize for their submission, Layered. The scheme focuses on the urgency of sustainability in its creation of a Dickson transit hub through repurposing existing commercial building stock. Those buildings are stripped back to their structural cores to allow a new ‘layering’ of youthful individual business ventures in integrated shipping containers or pre-fab elements to give an inimitable fresh character to the transit zone.

Third prize was awarded Nugroho Utomo and Gerard O’Connell for their project, Crossroads, and Can Ercan was awarded fourth prize.

Jury Chair John McInerney, former Manager of Planning for the City of Sydney and City of Melbourne, was joined on the jury by Iain Maxwell, Director of supermanoeuvre and Pamille Berg, public art consultant and former Director of Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp.

A selection of entries will feature in a public exhibition at the National Museum of Democracy in the Provisional Parliament House later this year.