Lilydale Station one of 110 level crossing removal projects commissioned by the Victorian Government. BKK teamed up with Kyriacou Architects, Jacobs and landscape architects ASPECT Studios to design and deliver it.
Lilydale’s level crossing was replaced by a rail bridge above the intersecting Maroondah Highway. Our team designed a new Lilydale station, sited in a more central position in the township.
The old 1872 station house (to be repurposed by VicTrack) was on the north side of Maroondah Highway and the new one is on the south side connecting directly into the retail strip and to a new purpose-built bus interchange. There are entrances from both sides of the road.
The new station has a street-level concourse – an indoor-outdoor space with a waiting room, kiosk, toilets, ticket office and staff building connected under the railway-line roof. It’s open in multiple directions, connecting physically and visually to streets, buses, parking and nearby businesses.
The platforms are above.
This major civic project fundamentally transforms Lilydale by embedding an idea of place.
It does this with materiality: the new station is clad in zinc and hand-laid stone, popular in Yarra Valley buildings.
These natural materials contrast with the massive infrastructure of the viaducts and support structures.
The steelwork supporting the station canopies is inspired by the old trestle railway bridges in the area.
Although it’s a civic building, the station is the antithesis of a big civic monument. It democratises the civic. It’s open, inviting and welcoming to all. There is no primary entry: the station is accessible from multiple locations and directions, making it a part of the township fabric.
The station’s 27m tower is a contemporary reimagining of the traditional station clocktower. But rather than a clock, it is topped with a new commission by Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol, an international leader in digital screen artworks. Anadol’s work combines media, science, technology and data in site-specific works.
The spectacular Wind of Lilydale could exist nowhere else. It is an artistic interpretation of local weather data, which is processed by a custom algorithm into a constantly changing visual pattern. It gathers and interprets weather data in real time so the pattern you see is the weather you’re experiencing.
Wind of Lilydale is Melbourne’s only permanent Anadol work, though other pieces have appeared in temporary exhibitions.
The tower and the artwork are a new landmark visible for kilometres around that signposts a gateway to the Yarra Valley and beoynd. BKK worked with public art curators T Projects and advocated for the tower to be a public art opportunity.
For us, the project was as much about urban design as infrastructure.
A crucial part of our job was working with the client (Level Crossing Removal Project) and stakeholders to design the best level crossing removal option for Lilydale as a place.
Lilydale station is the terminus of a long metropolitan line. The railway used to continue on, forking in one direction to Healesville (until 1980) and another to Warburton (until 1965).
The Lilydale township was therefore a tourist destination, its tearooms a delightful launching place for a Yarra Valley outing.
That tourism story faded when both lines were terminated at Lilydale, but the Warburton one has become a popular and scenic walking/cycling trail. Our new station has clear pedestrian links and caters well for cyclists moving between the platforms and the trail.
The bridge preserves that link with the historic station and the rural Yarra Valley food, wine and culture district. Our scheme also keeps the road running through the main Lilydale activity centre, connecting it to the community and bringing business from road traffic en route to the Yarra Valley.
Our station has a sibling: the new Mooroolbark Station, which we designed concurrently with Lilydale. Mooroolbark’s Station is smaller than Lilydale’s, but with the same materiality and elemental approach.
BKK’s other projects for the Level Crossing Removal Authority include at Mooroolbark Station, Melton Highway Melton, Merinda Park Station and Camms Road (both in Cranbourne), Calder Park Drive Keilor North, and South Gippsland Highway Dandenong.