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William Barak Bridge
by Cox Architects and Planners



The William Barak Bridge has been developed to improve Melbourne's pedestrian environment and encourage public transport use to and from events within the Sports Precinct, particularly during the Commonwealth Games and for major events held at the MCG and Tennis Centre. Establishing a landscape connection between two of Melbourne's most significant public parks (Birrarung Marr and Yarra Park) and reinforcing the band of parks that sweep from Royal Park to the north through to Albert Park in the south, this significant 525m-long pedestrian bridge provides a link from Federation Square to the environs of the MCG. The bridge provides a rich sensory experience with materials and finishes selected for their tactile qualities and structural elements located either below deck or centrally on the deck to provide an edge balustrade condition at human scale. Through this distribution of scale, the link allows clear views to some of Melbourne's best attributes, and provides a safe,

well lit, intuitive line of travel. The pedestrian journey is broken up into a series of stages, each of which respond to the particular physical context of the precinct. The first stage is the elevation within Birrarung Marr, which springs up from the main axis and extends over Citylink. Stone gabion walls mark both this bridge landing and the opposing end of the bridge as they meet the landscape. The second stage of the journey is an elevated civic podium space which connects to the Tennis Centre. The podium develops a new urban plaza over two levels, as a key arrival and entry element of the precinct, and as a future urban plaza and public open space on the Spring Street axis. The third stage is the major connection across the rail corridor, expressed by a dramatic steel truss which is located centrally as a structural spine articulated in the bridge deck. The final link is the connection into Yarra Park itself, which arrives as landform in the parkland forecourt to the MCG.

Melbourne, VIC
Cox Architects and Planners
(03) 9650 3288
Project Team
Project architect: Adam Hannon
Project architect: Adam Hannon
Structural consultant: KBR
Civil consultant: KBR
Landscape consultant: ERM
Lighting consultant: KBR
Builder: Abigroup
Project Director: Jonathan Gardiner
Design Director: Patrick Ness
Architect: Richard Denby
Architect: Lai Ping
Project Director: Jonathan Gardiner
Design Director: Patrick Ness
Architect: Richard Denby
Architect: Lai Ping
Rail and Infrastructure: KBR
Public Artist: Wax Sound Media
Photographer: John Gollings
Photographer: David Yeow

Photographs by John Gollings & David Yeow, text by Cox Architects and Planners

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects