There are now even more ways for locals and commuters to enjoy the Union Station precinct, with 3 new outdoor spaces open to the public.
More than 9400 square metres of new and upgraded open spaces – equivalent to half an MCG – have been created as part of one of the biggest transport infrastructure programs in Melbourne’s east. This follows the removal of two dangerous and congested level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert and building a 1.3km rail trench, with trains stopping at the new premium Union Station.
Since our initial consultation in December 2020, we have received more than 7000 pieces of community feedback that have helped inform the design of the new station and open spaces. Throughout consultation locals told us how much they valued open space and, as a result, the project has retained as much of Lorne Parade Reserve as possible and delivered new open spaces for Mont Albert and Surrey Hills locals to enjoy.
The community also told us that landscaping is important, with a preference for native and shady plantings. Safety emerged as a key theme throughout the station precinct, with locals wanting to see improved lighting and CCTV, as well as safe connections for pedestrians and cyclists moving through the precinct.
Our designers have drawn on this feedback during the process of refining and finalising the landscaping and open space designs.
The 3 spaces include the new Mont Albert heritage plaza and Montrose Street pocket park, and the rejuvenated Lorne Parade Reserve.
The heritage plaza connects Hamilton and Beresford streets and is home to the carefully restored Mont Albert station building, the future use of which will be decided by Whitehorse Council. The plaza features a lawn area with a range of new seating options, native trees and printed screens reflecting the local history.
Marking the northern entrance to Union Station, Montrose Street pocket park has a lawn seating area with garden beds and is home to one of the 2 King Parrot sculptures by local artist, Emily Floyd.
The second King Parrot sculpture is located in the upgraded Lorne Parade Reserve, which features new children’s play equipment including swings, balance beams, steppers, sound tubes and a multi-play tower. The reserve’s native landscaping complements the existing yellow box and blue gum trees, and includes a new pedestrian and cycle path.
The Union Road open space will open to the public in November. Situated on a deck over the rail trench, the area will feature a community square with tiered seating, a civic plaza with a climbable sculpture, terrace garden, cafe seating and a bus waiting area.
The area, funded in part by Boroondara Council, will also include additional amenities, with a combined public toilet and fully accessible Changing Places toilet.
Completion of all four new open spaces will be celebrated at a community event on Sunday 12 November, featuring entertainment and giveaways, and local trader food vouchers (subject to availability).