Text description provided by the architects. Brunswick Power Terminal Station is located approximately 5 km north east of Melbourne’s CBD within the suburb of Brunswick East. Whilst the facility has been in operation on King Street since 1939, an upgrade was required to provide an alternate energy source to secure electricity flow to the CBD and inner suburbs. Key to the process was delivering a functional electrical installation whilst managing community expectation, integrating into the adjoining sensitive Merri Creek corridor and improving visual amenity for the residential neighbourhood.
Surrounding the site is a strong grid pattern street network of fine grain residential developments bounded on the south by Alister Street and coarser grain larger built forms to the west on King Street. This grid pattern is then disrupted by the organic forms of the rich landscape of Merri Creek and Sumner Park running diagonally from north to south east. The site boundary to the east and north follows the organic nature of the creek sandwiching the Terminal Station. The site provides an important transition zone encouraging the flow of landscape and pedestrian access around the site.
The upgrade involved the installation of state-of-the-art electrical equipment housed in architecturally treated buildings. The twelve-metre residential street frontages influenced the new buildings to reduce in scale by grading the facades into modules within the site. To reduce building bulk, visual clutter and improve views through and around the site, the electrical infrastructure is housed indoors within the new buildings which have been treated with screens, textured precast concrete panels and materials designed to integrate them into the site landscaping and fencing treatments.
The rich palate of nearby materials, grid network and densely populated vegetation provide an excellent context influencing the design. The creek corridor is densely populated with vegetation, although surrounding residential areas are comparatively sparse with much of the residential street vegetation located within private properties. Brunswick Terminal Station itself appears to recede into its surrounds although clearly visible from alternate frontages and key vantage points providing a contemporary landscaping and built form enhancing the local area.