Australian Institute of Architects, Victoria 2024 Awards

The Australian Institute of Architects, Victoria held the 2024 Victorian Architecture Awards Night, an annual event where the architecture industry comes together to celebrate new projects across the state.

We are pleased to share that our Preston Level Crossing Removal Project has received two awards. One is ‘Public Architecture’ for the station buildings and another ‘Urban Design’ for redeveloping the public spaces with landscape by Tract.

A huge thanks to our team who attended the event and subsequent celebrations!

As a progression from the state awards, the project has also been shortlisted in the ‘Urban Design’ category for the national awards which will be announced later this year.

Related Projects

Public Architecture
Jury citation:

Bell and Preston stations are a tour de force in railway design, illustrating that stations can at once enhance the enjoyment of travel and the public realm, satisfy the technical demands of transport infrastructure and still be great pieces of architecture. Bell and Preston stations are iconic and readily identifiable from both the train and their built environments.

Preston Station, adjacent to the popular market, has been inspired by the colour and movement of the market with pleated coloured folds to become a polychromatic beacon among the market’s transient visual kaleidoscope. Bell Station by contrast is in a quieter, more residential environment and has taken an expressive cue from the suburban roofscape to provide relief to precast concrete paneled walls, captured above by a glazed top light. Swathes of landscape beneath the elevated rail lines have been released to the public accommodating shared user paths, playgrounds and gathering spaces. Extensive Indigenous co-design has created culturally inclusive spaces as well as contributed to the articulation and detail of the project.

The successful interpolation of the many technical demands upon railway stations knitted into colourful and sculptured architecture, makes the Preston Level Crossing Removal Project a worthy winner of an architecture award for public architecture.


Urban Design
Jury citation:

The Preston Level Crossing Removal project masterfully redefines rail infrastructure, transforming it into a vibrant artery of civic life and community engagement.

Both Preston and Bell stations are more than mere transit nodes; they are landmarks uniquely reflecting and contributing to the character of their communities. Employing bold colours and distinctive facades, each station builds upon its local urban fabric – Bell featuring a landscape amphitheatre that playfully extends the nearby Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre, while Preston captures the bustling energy of the Preston Market, mirrored in both its facade and an expansive, flexible undercover space.

Inside, the stations offer expansive, secure spaces that combine functionality with grandeur, complete with clear, accessible entries that welcome all. The connecting landscape is a meticulously crafted urban corridor of green spaces designed for leisure, engagement, and rejuvenation, enriched with native plantings and a deep commitment to Indigenous co-design, creating both educational and functional community spaces.

This project exemplifies the crucial role architects play in pushing the boundaries of transport infrastructure to better shape communities and establish a paradigm for stations as catalysts for community identity and growth.