New landscaped public realm for Oaklands Rail Crossing, Adelaide

ASPECT insights
New landscaped public realm for Oaklands Rail Crossing, Adelaide
ASPECT Studios Adelaide has begun the detailed design of public domain around a major infrastructure renewal project at Oaklands Crossing, 12.8 kilometres south of Adelaide CBD. Due for completion in late 2019, this critical upgrade to a transport node (one of five such major upgrades planned for Adelaide’s public transport network) will divert the Seaford rail line underneath Morphett Road, removing an existing level crossing that currently causes congestion and traffic delays to around 42,000 motorists daily. Urban and landscape design of the public domain is by ASPECT Studios, with the station design by Cox Architecture, under a project delivery tender awarded to McConnell Dowell, Mott MacDonald and Arup (Public Transport Project Alliance) in January 2018.       In cutting an underpass for the new railway station, a substantial new public realm is being created around it, which will serve as a catalyst for future development of the precinct.   ASPECT’s design for this public domain includes a major forecourt north and south of the station with a combination of stairs and ramps, leading down to the station platforms. New cycleways, pedestrian footbridges and pathways will dramatically improve safety and connection to neighbouring residential areas and the ‘civic triangle’ of the State Aquatic Centre, Marion Cultural Centre and Marion Shopping Centre. Shade is key to the landscape plan which will feature the creation of a woodland landscape including River Red Gums, SA Blue Gums and other native trees and grasses, interspersed with paving and pubic art. “The new forecourts will add around 2,000 square metres combined of new landscaped precinct, with seating, shade trees and pathways, and areas designed for pop-up food stalls/coffee carts. Our planting scheme will predominantly use native species to continue the existing green corridors leading into the site. And we’ll be preparing large tracts of land for future development in the district,” says ASPECT Studios Adelaide Director, Tim Conybeare. The project also includes improvements to the connectivity of the Marino Rocks Greenway, providing a better commuter cycling and recreational trail link from the coast to the city.   “In developing the urban design and landscape, a key driver for us is to narrow the rail corridor as much as possible, freeing up green space. This is important to give back a significant landscaped area to the local communities, who have borne the brunt of traffic congestion here for decades”.   Urban design/landscape goals:
  • Improve safety and reduce travel times by removing a road/rail crossing point
  • Increase public transport patronage through better/safer facilities
  • Promote walking and cycling with safer connections and improved amenity
  • Improve urban connections between the station and neighbouring residential, commercial and civic hubs
  • Strengthen identity through a well designed and landscaped station precinct
Other benefits:
  • A ‘kit of parts’ approach taken at Oaklands can be applied to future grade separation projects to be rolled out as part of a greater Public Transport Infrastructure Program across the city of Adelaide.
  • Urban uplift – a quality public domain and relocated station precinct that frees up and readies significant land parcels for future urban development.
  • Improved Marino Rocks Greenway cycling link from the coast into the city.
Closer to the CBD, ASPECT Studios’ reimagining of a much loved part of Adelaide’s South Park Lands, Park 19 (Pityarilla) activity hub and nature play space, is nearing completion ahead of being officially opened to the public on 29 April 2018.