Canberra Metro Depot & Stabling Yard
In February 2016 the Capital Metro consortium was selected to deliver the first stage of Canberra’s light rail project which is part of an overall light rail master plan to deliver faster, more convenient and more sustainable transport options for Canberra over the next 20 years.
An important component of the project is the depot, situated at Mitchell along the mid-point of the stage 1 route. It serves to maintain and repair Light Rail Vehicles (LRV), stable (park) the LRV’s overnight, and function as an operations, control and administrative centre for the network operator Canberra Metro.
The large roof area provides a platform for photo-voltaic cells, at the same time collecting rainwater for reuse on site for irrigation and LRV wash and maintenance activities. The maintenance hall includes skylights and translucent cladding to naturally light the work spaces and reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Glazing is shaded to maximise daylight and access to views while reducing solar gain.
The building aesthetics are restrained and modern in a setting where the landscape takes centre stage. The buildings express extreme simplicity of forms and a restrained use of hard wearing robust materials. There is a consistency in the application of materials to the two sections of maintenance hall and administration, with the façade fenestration acting to differentiate the functions within. Illumination of the maintenance interior at night through translucent cladding, reveals the building structure, provides visual interest and celebrates activity within. The operations control centre (OCC) is expressed as a distinct building feature, providing excellent views and line-of-sight over the stabling yard and LRV approach and departure routes.
A key feature of the depot is an integral landscape design with trees and planting planned to screen the building, provide shade and reduce heat-island effect. The landscape design includes a retention pond with reed bed filtering harvested rainwater.Landscape design species selection is coordinated with the overall project landscape and urban design. With this approach the depot landscape design is utilised for training of staff in the management and care of the Canberra Metro tree-scape and the national gateway to the bush capital.