The Bowden and North Adelaide rail stations were constructed in 1854 and are part of the Port Adelaide line, the oldest functioning rail line in Australia. The heritage-listed Bowden station building is still in use, while the North Adelaide station building is vacant, with only the original verandahs providing protection for passengers.
The existing stations and their verandahs formed part of an idea to recapture the glory and splendor of public transport in South Australia which had fallen into decline after decades of road construction.
The design team explored the theme of ‘light and shade' by incorporating the iconic Australian verandahs into the design of the four new stations along the Coast to Coast light rail line, to provide protection from the bright Australian sunshine and infrequent torrential rain.
Understanding the complexities and requirements of light rail infrastructure was critical, especially in a city and inner urban context. Conceptualising a new form of the light rail station on the edge of the city - largely defined by the Adelaide Park Lands, Port Road and the ephemeral River Torrens - was also an important consideration. By adhering to simple design principles and acknowledging key elements of existing light rail stations, HASSELL developed a cohesive identity for the new stations.
Realising the broader landscape, scale and typologies of built form in this part of Adelaide, the design for the new extension is a departure from the existing city-based light rail station identity within Colonel Light's very formal and ordered 1836 design for the city centre.
As the first extension north out of the CBD, and with future extensions planned to seaside Semaphore and Port Adelaide, HASSELL has created a bold new identity within a very tight program and construction timeframe for the city.