First look: The new landmark roof which will transform Sydney’s Central Station

The new 2,240m2 span vaulted roof at Central Station has been revealed to the public for the first time with installation underway as part of the city’s new Sydney Metro.

The roof rises to 16m above the northern concourse becoming a landmark covered public space which will be the centre-piece of the refurbished station.

Constructed by Laing O’Rourke and designed in partnership with John McAslan + Partners and Woods Bagot, the lightweight canopy will dramatically over-sail the heart of the transformed station, joining new and old to create a recognisable place and represent the heritage of Central Station to the people of Sydney.

The design vision by the architectural team was to create a new public space for the people of Sydney as John McAslan + Partners achieved at King’s Cross Station in London. Conceived as an orienting piece of architecture that makes sense of and simplifies the wayfinding to all parts of the station from the grand concourse – joining intercity trains, suburban trains and Light Rail to the new metro. Design features, structural elements and materials add to the legibility of circulation, making moving between these travel modes more intuitive, simplifying access for all and enhancing the overall passenger journey through beautifully finished spaces.

All elements of the new design encourage smoother flows of 500,000 travellers expected daily across the station and through to the new Sydney Metro platforms, 27m underground.

The form of the new roof has been derived from the vaulted profiles which are already a dominant feature of the existing heritage buildings. It also frames views to Central Station’s heritage clock tower.

The materials have been selected to compliment the heritage of the station, built in 1906. The exterior is the same natural aluminium finish as the historic grand concourse roof and will, in time, patina with age, blending the new and old together. A dominant feature of the roof are the skylights. Shaped like kites, they admit daylight into the new concourse, helping cement it as a clear orienting space joining all the parts of the station together.

John McAslan, Executive Chairman of John McAslan + Partners, comments:“Like our King’s Cross scheme in the UK, this project will give Sydney a great new city space at the heart of one of the world’s most historic stations.”

Troy Uleman, Director, John McAslan + Partners Sydney said: “Designed as a great, light filled unifying space at the heart of the station, helping to make wayfinding more intuitive; whilst also highlighting the heritage and civic value of the early 20th century terminus building, smaller Electric building and reemphasising the Eddy Avenue entrance. For the first time in a long time, we will be able to experience these buildings in their full grandeur.”