Junior designers take on Canberra light rail

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Get in Touch by Get in Touch, St John Paul II College.

Get in Touch by Get in Touch, St John Paul II College. Image: Patrick Stein

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HexaPlex by Team Metro, Daramalan/Merici College.

HexaPlex by Team Metro, Daramalan/Merici College.

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Bringing the Outdoors in by teleo2600, Telopea Park School.

Bringing the Outdoors in by teleo2600, Telopea Park School. Image: Patrick Stein

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Get in Touch by Get in Touch, St John Paul II  College.

Get in Touch by Get in Touch, St John Paul II College. Image: Patrick Stein

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It’s About Time by Leaps + Bounds, Lyneham High School.

It’s About Time by Leaps + Bounds, Lyneham High School.

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Barking up the Right Tree by Crayons, Lyneham High School.

Barking up the Right Tree by Crayons, Lyneham High School. Image: Capital Metro

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High school designers at the Canberra light rail ideas competition.

High school designers at the Canberra light rail ideas competition.

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Canberra’s high school students went head-to-head with each other in a design ideas competition for the proposed Canberra light rail project, organized by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Capital Metro Agency (the government organization responsible for the light rail).

Over 100 students from 14 schools participated in the two-day charette and competition, held at the University of Canberra 7–8 April 2015.

The Year 9 and 10 students workshopped their designs in collaboration with tertiary students and graduates of architecture. Working in teams, the students investigated ideas for a light rail stop at both an urban scale as well as detailed design explorations.

The students explored a range of design ideas from site selection, landscape setting, social responsiveness and engagement with the community to accessibility and safety, as well as ecological principles, materials and adaptable designs.

Each of the designs were assessed by a jury and at the end of day two, two prizes were awarded in each of the three categories of the competition. The winners are:

Best station or light rail stop design

Barking up the Right Tree by Crayons, Lyneham High School. Image:  Capital Metro

First Prize

Barking up the Right Tree – Crayons, Lyneham High School

Jury citation: This project is a bold insertion into Garema Place where bark has been used to inspire the design of the shelter. The design is an inviting space for a diverse demographic.

Second Prize

Get in Touch – Get in Touch, St John Paul II College

Jury Citation: Utilising tree branches as inspiration, Get in Touch focuses on the natural environment and uses the shape of a leaf to shelter the rail stop.

Best connection to neighbourhood/community facilities

Bringing the Outdoors in by teleo2600, Telopea Park School. Image:  Patrick Stein

First Prize

Bringing the Outdoors in – teleo2600, Telopea Park School

Jury citation: This project creates symbols or icons to represent various stations that are meaningful to places in Canberra. Environmental sustainability embodies the design and connects people to nature.

Second Prize

It’s About Time – Leaps + Bounds, Lyneham High School

Jury citation: It’s About Time draws on Canberra’s cultural history using various poignant events to inspire a social timeline, inspiring different themes for each station.

Most innovative design

It’s About Time by Leaps + Bounds, Lyneham High School.

First Prize

It’s About Time – Leaps + Bounds, Lyneham High School

Jury citation: Winner of two prizes, this project is powerful in its use of Canberra’s history to inspire the design.

Second Prize

HexaPlex – Team Metro, Daramalan/Merici College

Jury citation: An environmentally responsive design, this project is a collection of hexagonal pods that forms a canopy inspired by Walter Burley Griffin.

See all prize-winning design and vote in the People’s Choice Awards online.

The proposed Canberra light rail is a 12-kilometre track that will run between Civic at its southern termimus to Gungahlin in the north, along Northbourne Avenue, Federal Highway and Flemington Road. The project aims to boost Canberra’s sustainable growth and improve transport options. The project is currently in procurement stage and is expected to begin construction in 2016.

In 2014 the Institute’s ACT Chapter ran an ideas competition for the design of the station at Dickson (midway along the line) which was won by Ann Cleary and Cassandra Cutler.


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