With the State Governments 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 to this 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 2 design options which were both clearly an improvement on the Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) reference design. Option 1 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 2 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.
- 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
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.
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.
The importance of good design is never as obvious as when the future is threatened by bad design
Architecture is for Everyone.
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