Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners , Daryl Jackson Architecture
Formerly known as Spencer Street Station, the new Southern Cross Railway Station in Melbourne has immediately become an icon in a city already noted for its Architecture.
The distinctive undulating roof of the station serves as both a practical and an emotive solution. Any smoke exhausted from the various train types that frequent the station is channelled to the roof high points, where it can be transferred outside the building envelope. At the same time, the shape of the roof reminds us of steam engines and the trail of smoke that they would leave when passing.
Set within the roof are long lines of Texlon ETFE cushions. The Vector Foiltec team worked closely with the Architects, Structural Engineers, Wind Engineers and the Builder (Leighton Contractors) to create a cost effective, semi-transparent system. The Texlon system allowed enough light into the building envelope for natural illumination, but not enough so that the resulting glare from the highly reflective roof structure caused discomfort to the public inside.
Each Texlon cushion measures approximately 20m x 6m. The large size of the cushions meant that the amount of costly secondary framing, as required for a glazed solution, could be eliminated. In addition, Vector Foiltec's innovative installation methods, used for the first time in Australia, allowed construction to occur over the top of public access platforms, without the need for traditional style hoardings, barricades or even traffic management personnel.