Footscray Railway Station
The upgrade works at the state heritage listed station formed part of the broader Regional Rail Link project designed to streamline and separate the metropolitan and regional tracks to the west of Melbourne. RBA worked with the design architects, HASSELL, and engineers, Jacobs, to resolve the detailing of new works and to oversee a comprehensive program of conservation works to rejuvenate the historic station buildings.
Various interventions to the historic platform buildings (built between 1900 and 1930) were required to facilitate the upgrade. These included truncating two of the canopies to accommodate a new track alignment, and adapting the interiors to increase covered waiting areas. Where sections of wall were removed internally, vestiges of the original floor plans and arched openings were retained for interpretive purposes.
Conservation works included the reinstatement of Welsh Blue slates to the platform buildings, as well as decorative roof elements which had been missing – detailed research guided the reinstatement of new wrought iron (mild steel) cresting, sheet lead repoussé and pressed cement orbs to the main building, as well as spun lead finials to the flanking buildings, all re-created by specialist contractors. The Marseilles terracotta tiles to the signal box were cleaned in-situ, and some were replaced with a suitable alternative. Other conservation works included the restoration of original colour schemes across the complex, reinstatement of sections of the original ‘bastard’ tuck-pointing to the brickwork of the main building, and repairs to the decorative pressed metal ceilings of the southern platform building.
The interpretation strategy at the site included the interpretive presentation of building fabric and a series of six interpretation panels.