Railway Square is a new public space located at the Railway Workshops in Midland. The square is located in the former shunting yards when trains were shunted into and out of the workshops and is recognised as an important twentieth century industrial heritage site of state and national significance.
Railway Square has received numerous awards including the AILA WA Award of Excellence for Civic Landscape, AILA WA Award of Excellence for Cultural Heritage and the WE-EF After Dark WA/NT/SA Award celebrating the best of Australian landscape architectural lighting.
Under the guidance of the MRA and a design team lead by PLACE Laboratory, Railway Square is being transformed into a new civic heart for Midland, providing a destination public space surrounded by restaurants, cafes, a hotel, apartments and the heritage listed buildings. The design of the square brings together storytelling and place activation to create an inviting space for everyday use by locals and a high-performance event space capable of hosting larger events for the broader community.
Set against the historical backdrop of Block One, the design of Railway Square interprets the former use of the space through industrial materials, custom rail furniture, artworks and interpretative rail lines that run through the space. The rail lines have been designed to tell the stories of the site:
The Live Line is an existing live railway line that is integrated into the design of the square to allow trains to access the site and workshops during special events.
The Social Line brings to life the rich social history of the former workers and their families and includes a line of rail furniture for sitting, lounging, playing and meeting.
The Water Line is a linear misting and lighting feature that references the history of steam engines and movement of trains through the site.
The History Line consists of an interpretive artwork set between the rail tracks that tells the history of state wide rail connections from the site and the shunting of the rail carts on the site.
The Lost Line is a rail line that disappears into a garden bed of a development site interpreting the decline of the workshops in the 1990s and the re-purposing of the site for a new community.
The combination of the interpretive lines together with a large-scale shelter constructed of recycled timber from the workshops, custom lighting and furniture, transplant trees, event infrastructure and an industrial material palette creates a contemporary civic and event space for Midland and surround communities.