Text description provided by the architects. In the heart of Sydney sits Wynyard Walk: a fully accessible pedestrian link designed around the concept of ‘flow’. The design challenges the perception of a transport interchange, shifting the emphasis from efficiency of travel to the quality of experience, with the forms optimised to capture the largest volume of space and ease pedestrian movements through its curved profiles, rounded corners and sinuous forms.
Providing a highly functional and practical connection, the design is focused on the quality of the customer journey – allowing pedestrians to travel from Wynyard Station to the Barangaroo waterfront in approximately six minutes by avoiding steep inclines and road crossings.
Linking Wynyard Station to the western corridor of Sydney’s CBD, Wynyard Walk consists of a series of above and below ground urban interventions including a nine-metre wide pedestrian tunnel, bridge, plaza and a new civic building connecting the existing Wynyard Station.
The design concept of flow draws on the natural geology of the Sydney Basin, with its landscape of deep cliffs, gorges, beaches and estuaries carved by erosion. A metaphor for the fluid flow of pedestrians, the design references the movement of water as, like water, people follow the path of least resistance. The linearity of movement is reinforced through materials and detailing to enhance wayfinding and create a unified experience.
Earthen materials including concrete and stone ground the project, while lighter elements such as glass and metal provide diaphanous canopies filtering natural and artificial light. The form of Wynyard Walk harnesses human desire to create the most efficient route, imbuing the project with a unique character and identity.
The western portal and glass canopy acts as the most visible landmarks of the project, increasing traffic capacity of the station to meet current and future demands. The shape of the canopy was parametrically modelled and tested in wind models to ensure weather protection while allowing fresh air and natural light into the tunnel.
The innovative form has geometric rationality, sculpted and cut from a cylindrical section and elliptical plan. Principles of sustainability drove the design solution, with consideration for maintenance over the project’s 100- year life span.
A lifecycle costing analysis of the tunnel lighting reduced the carbon footprint, with natural daylight supplemented by the use of LED strip lighting throughout the project. Materials were selected for environmental performance.
Designed as a piece of socially sustainable infrastructure, Wynyard Walk enhances the experience of (projected) 20,000 commuters per hour via a timeless architectural form complemented with integrated digital art. Residing within the Clarence Street entrance of Wynyard Station, the 23 metre wide Wynscreen - named as a play on the word ‘windscreen’ due to its unusual curved shape - combines art, culture and technology to create a series of visual experiences.
Connecting one of Sydney’s busiest transport interchanges to Barangaroo through architectural expression, Wynyard Walk has created a unified identity and civic presence, delivering a socially sustainable piece of infrastructure to Sydney’s CBD.