From the Archives, 1997: Creators beaming about CityLink steel forest

First published in The Age on March 24, 1997

Creators beaming about CityLink steel forest

A 70-metre-long yellow steel beam flanked by a forest of red columns will be part of an “international gateway experience” being built across the Tullamarine Freeway as part of CityLink.

The cheesestick and steel forest on CityLink.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Motorists will also drive through a steel and glass tube which will envelop an elevated dual roadway between Mount Alexander Road and Racecourse Road and mark the western start of CityLink.

Designed by Melbourne architects Denton Corker Marshall, creators of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the new Museum of Victoria, the beam and sticks will be cantilevered across the city end of the Tullamarine Freeway.

It will give motorists the impression of approaching a solid coloured wall.

Mr Bill Corker, a director of DCM, said yesterday the gateway would be an unusual experience that was not designed to be understood in a single visit. The precinct would resemble a huge sculpture garden.

“The design is predicated by the fact that most observers will view it travelling at 100 kilometres an hour,” Mr Corker said.

He described the cantilevered beam as “a massive installation … a refined, smooth, seamless structure that will symbolise technological Melbourne’.

He said the tube would deaden the sound of cars and be highly refined in detail and finish.

Drawings obtained by The Age show the gateway appearing at one distinct form from a distance, but which fragments into a number of elements as motorists pass through it towards the city via Flemington Road.

Notes to the drawings state that the gateway “announces to those who pass through it that Melbourne is a successful, colourful and exciting city. It is a striking example of contemporary and distinctive technology, one that expresses the confidence and vision engendered in the Melbourne CityLink, and In Melbourne”.

“Not only does it create a strong sense of arrival, it celebrates the fact that Melbourne is the economic, technological and cultural capital of Australia… a message of confidence, professionalism, progress and uniqueness must be conveyed.”

The yellow beam will be floodlit at night, while the forest of sticks will be lit to achieve colour effects ranging through red, mauve, purple and blue.

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