Calming artwork installed at Parkville Station

New artwork Parkville Station

A major artwork designed to bring a sense of calm in Melbourne’s busy hospital and education precinct has been installed at Parkville Station.

Vernal Glade, by internationally acclaimed Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinni, is on the concourse level at the station’s main Grattan St entrance, bathed in natural light from the station’s 54-metre-long glass canopy.

The artwork is made up of more than 500 Japanese hand-crafted tiles, with a colour palette of pink, orange, green, and yellow designed to evoke calm, optimism and warmth for passengers in the busy health and research precinct.

Installation took just over a month for what is Piccinini’s first permanent public artwork.

Piccinini said she wanted the work to inspire people passing through the station.



“The work communicates a sense of new life through colour,” she said.

“These are the colours of spring, new leaves, new foliage, the colours of ripening fruit on a tree.”


Piccinini is one of the nation’s best-known artists. She has represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, exhibited in Helsinki, Tokyo, and London, and was awarded a Doctor of Visual and Performing Arts from the Victoria College of the Arts in 2016.


Victorians will be able to see the artwork when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule.

Meanwhile, work is continuing at Parkville Station, including the return of The University of Melbourne’s 150-year-old heritage-listed iron fence and basalt pillars on Grattan St.

The fence was removed in 2018 and placed in storage to allow for work at the station.

Crews are building footpaths, bike lanes and bus shelters, connecting utilities and landscaping in the streets surrounding the station.

Parkville Station will connect this important part of the city to Melbourne’s train network for the first time, making it easier for workers, students, patients, and families to get where they need to go.

A pedestrian underpass beneath Royal Parade will connect passengers using Parkville Station and pedestrians to The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The University of Melbourne.

The Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne, and Pakenham lines via a new tunnel under the city. It will create an end-to-end rail line from the north-west to the south-east, freeing up space in the City Loop and creating capacity to run more trains more often. •

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