The Superway is a non-stop corridor approximately 4.8 kilometres in length largely comprising of an elevated roadway, with multiple lanes in each direction above the existing alignment of South Road, between Regency Road and Port River Expressway in South Australia. Drawing from contextual issues of locality and region, the Superway brings innovative, bold and sculptural design solutions to transport infrastructure.
Variations within the visual language of the Superway, respond to an array of site conditions, creating an engaging experience for the road users and adjacent communities that is safe and efficient. The design is fluid and organic in form, taking full advantage of the inherent malleable properties of concrete. Each pier and integrated superstructure becomes an element that excites the eye and captures the imagination.
The vision for the design of the Superway is to emphasise the full integration of the structural form of columns, beams, drainage and road furniture, into a unified and elegant piece of sculptural infrastructure.
‘Unfolding sensations’ over the journey on the Superway frame significant views of the surrounding environment for users on and off the structure. The sensitive placement of transparent acrylic noise walls in the proximity of residential occupation allows for views across and beyond to minimise the visual bulk whilst being efficient at mitigating noise. The colour palette for the transparent acrylic panels references indigenous local flowering species. Hardy road-side fauna has been planted for their low maintenance and local qualities, creating a canopy of vegetation that provides an additional visual link between the elevated road and the landscape below.
The organic pier shape, formed in in-situ concrete, is reminiscent of a growing tree providing a common form which is simple and elegant. The residual spaces between the fluid sculptural forms allow light to filter through; the voids framing views through to the adjacent areas and back into the new structure. We maximised the spacing of these piers to reduce the ground plane footprint, resulting in ‘positive’ space beneath the elevated roadway that has active uses. The spatial sequence of the project has been carefully considered to support, at ground level, a rich driver, pedestrian and cyclist experience, taking into account the linearity of the Elevated Roadway undercroft and perpendicular connecting streets and open spaces.
To respond to a multitude of landscapes, vegetation and land uses, the Superway transforms as it traverses the expansive site located south of the environmentally significant Barker Inlet wetlands. We worked collaboratively with Landscape Architects, Tract to integrate the Superway into this dynamic landscape whilst enhancing open space and implementing sustainable solutions. The existing ground plane has been adjusted using earth mounds to provide, in part, an undulating character which extends the idea of soft edges and elegant forms used across the project.