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 Sydney’s train services concentrated through Central 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. The upgrade to the original Walter Vernon-designed station marks a significant phase in the modernisation process.
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The transformation of Central Station to accommodate a state‑of‑the‑art metro interchange requires the design of spatially and structurally efficient operational segments, and sophisticated, multilevel passenger‑flow strategies. But it must also be designed with the future in mind, so that the station becomes a centrepiece of additional placemaking and regeneration outcomes.
The metro insertion must accentuate the key heritage qualities of the existing architecture, and introduce new, architecturally inspiring elements that will not rupture the fundamental character of this fine example of Edwardian railway architecture. The Clock Tower, the original canopied concourse, and the general architectural gravitas remain iconic; any new interventions, however contemporary in architectural style, should elevate the station’s unique historic status.
The architecture of the Walter Vernon‑designed terminus, like other notable Victorian and Edwardian stations, is bold. This structure must now dovetail with equally bold, can‑do, 21st century interventions to give the station an entirely new functional and experiential vibe, so that up to 450,000 passengers per day can flow through its spaces and feel, quite palpably, an inspiring, highly efficient, and re‑energised coming together of old and new.
The project comprises four key areas: The Northern Concourse; the Metro Box including the new canopies to platforms 12–14; the new Central Walk concourse; and the new Chalmers Street, Surry Hills Eastern Entrance and Eastern Suburbs Railway (ESR) Concourse modifications.
The design vision and approach place the user experience at the centre of the transformation of Central Station. The creation of more open spaces such as the new Northern Concourse at key decision making points significantly improves circulation and station legibility, with enhanced accessibility, permeability, and connectivity across the station precinct, resulting in an intuitive and easily used station environment for all customers, irrespective of the mode of travel used. Natural light, particularly in the subterranean elements, is maximised to enhance the user experience, assisting orientation and intuitive wayfinding around the station.
Artist impression – Northern Concourse
Offsite prefabrication DFMA
Artist impression – Central Walk
Artist impression – Eastern Entry
of Sydney’s train services are concentrated through the station
Artist impression – Metro Platform
The insertion of the metro deep into the heart of Sydney’s Central Station inspires a crafted subterranean architecture seeking to capture the essence of the station, Sydney and the unique qualities of Hawksbury sandstone used extensively in this historic precinct. The scale of the intervention is as large as the original building except it is predominately submerged underground.