RPS’ Landscape Architecture team has contributed to the design and delivery of one of Brisbane’s most significant transport infrastructure projects – Legacy Way.
A 4.6 km tunnel linking Brisbane’s Western Freeway to the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove, Legacy Way incorporates two tunnel entrances and a complex network of ventilation infrastructure.
Design guidelines shape new city feature
RPS developed a set of urban design principles to guide design and development, ensuring a cohesive approach to the landscape design. These principles centred around the integration of built form elements with surrounding green spaces and recognition of the important role infrastructure plays in shaping city landscapes.
True to these design ideals, RPS’ scheme for Legacy Way included the extensive use of native plants endemic to the region. In fact, more than six hectares of revegetation works were undertaken to provide a smooth and natural transition between built structures and the existing landscape.
Tunnel a bridge between built and natural environment
The roof of the tunnel’s western entry supports an extensive green roof structure which also serves to blur the line between infrastructure and nature. Other architectural features such as asymmetric trough walls, artwork and façade treatments all work to create natural sightlines and a sense of movement as people transition into and out of the tunnel.
A natural approach to ventilation design
An innovative approach to concealing Legacy Way’s ventilation shafts was adopted, with RPS collaborating with Urban Art Projects to design patterned coverings for pipes and related system infrastructure.
Artists mapped their movements via GPS over the course of a week to create the unique cladding used for ventilation system facilities, while artwork at the tunnel’s entrance gives the effect of a ‘moving wall’. The coverings on ventilation shafts represent the complex vascular system of plants, while simultaneously blending the pipes into the natural forest backdrop in which they are placed.
Now complete, Legacy Way opened to the public in June 2015. The tunnel was named in honour of those who have served in the Australian Defence Force and one cent from every toll is donated to the Legacy organisation.
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