(designed in association with Moyhla Architects)
The brief was to develop an iconic design for a new domestic train station and pedestrian overpass adjacent to the show-grounds at Wayville. To complicate matters, the project was to be done in the context of both the always-limited budget for public projects and the very tight time constraints of an active site. By implication, this meant that any solution must be ‘off the shelf’. To meet this limiting brief Tectvs adopted a repeatable structural solution using readily available materials, sections and technologies - or in other words, a ‘meccano-set’ approach.
Upon reading this adopted solution could lead one to think of the same old design response of what has already been done in Adelaide … a box girder bridge ‘decorated’ with appliqués of art, materials and shapes … in effect, ornaments. Tectvs decided a different, more enticing approach: the structure itself would serve as ornament.
The Wayville Station Pedestrian Overpass is an integrated design solution. The form is both expressive and functional. The structure is the generator of the form. To achieve this seamless alliance between structure and form - an appearance that initially presents itself as simple as taking a box girder bridge and twisting it 90 degrees - required a clean design solution.
This twisting effect gives the bridge the sensation of being in motion, both viewed from without and from within. In effect, the static becomes dynamic. A sense of movement is further emphasised by the canopy structures that sweep down from the bridge and by twisting the structure off grid. This sense of motion is symbolic of the dynamism of transport constantly in motion in a modern city, further emphasised at night through lighting effects that highlight the twisting frames.
The form also pays homage to the heritage buildings across the tracks by way of the pitched form at the peak of the twist. This homage is further emphasised by the use of allegorical graphics on surrounding weather screens; a reference back to the historical significance of the site as the original departure point that many left from as they were sent off to war in the first half of the previous century. The striking form allowed a reduced palette of materiality: simple, painted steelwork, stainless steel, raw concrete. No fuss, no frills, robust, durable and fit for purpose.