PublicArt Works have developed an innovative Public Art Strategy for Transport for NSW’s multi-billion dollar new rail link from Epping to Rouse Hill. Prior work by Merran Morrison for Sydney Metro, the Parramatta-Chatswood Rail Link and the Wynyard Walkway have helped centralize art as part of the planning strategy for the proposed new $8b transport system. PublicArt Works program was embraced by government because of its diverse application and functional utility, with artworks spanning ephemeral and traditional sculpture to urban poetry and multimedia urban informatics.
PublicArt Works supported a multi-disciplinary team lead by AECOM, Cox Richardson, and UK based architects Grimshaw. Working closely with government and the design team, we have formulated integrated art concepts in response to engineering, architecture and urban design opportunities with functional requirements of rail systems such as station identity, wayfinding, safety and security becoming canvases for attractive underground transit environments. Part of the Company’s role has been to show how public art can problem solve and guide aesthetic and experiential outcomes in ways that architecture alone simply can’t.
Our design strategies enhancing the passenger experience encapsulate the spirit of each place, reflect the aspirations of the community, the narratives of heritage, landscape and culture and embed an understanding & cultural response to the architecture of each station. Further, our international benchmarking study of transit art concluded:
- The benefits of commissioning art go beyond good design
- The best public art is architecturally integrated
- Some of the world’s most renowned artists work is in rail stations
- The outstanding public art programmes are well strategised & funded
- Public artworks can become passenger destinations in themselves
- Public art offers significant marketing and branding opportunities
- The public & local communities respond well to art