Renowned artist to transform Parkville Station

19 Column Metro
19 Column Metro
19 Column Metro

Metro Tunnel’s Parkville Station is set to feature artwork by internationally acclaimed Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini, underlining Melbourne’s reputation as the nation’s cultural capital.

She joins a group of leading artists selected under the Metro Tunnel’s Legacy Artwork Program to create work for the project’s new underground stations.

Piccinini’s artwork will be located in Parkville Station’s public concourse under Grattan Street, which is set to be transformed into a grand promenade as part of Metro Tunnel designs.

The work will engage with the biophilic (or nature-centric) design of the station, exploring themes of medicine, bioscience and well-being  and reflecting Parkville’s status as a world-leading health and research precinct. 

In 2016 The Art Newspaper named Piccinini the most popular contemporary artist in the world after a show in Rio de Janeiro attracted over 444,000 visitors. Her major show “A Miracle Constantly Repeated” was exhibited from 2021 to 2022 above Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street Station as part of the RISING arts festival.

Piccinini is in good company, joining a group of esteemed artists selected to create major public works at each Metro Tunnel station: Abdul Abdullah (Arden Station), Danie Mellor (State Library Station), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Town Hall Station), and Raafat Ishak (Anzac Station).

Victorian First Nations artist Maree Clarke will create a line-wide artwork to be embedded within the architectural fabric each of the five stations at platform level.

The stations’ artworks and architectural design features will become new landmarks in the cultural fabric of the city, giving Melburnians and visitors the opportunity to experience world-class art and design every day 

For now the pieces remain under development as each artist works closely with Metro Tunnel architects and engineers. They will be revealed before the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule. 

The station will provide a direct train connection to the area for the first time and will link directly to Melbourne Airport in 2029 via Melbourne Airport Rail.

Construction has been underway at the Parkville site since 2017 to bring the Metro Tunnel station to life, with the main structures now in place and crews working to fit out the station with mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and lifts and escalators.

Work is also progressing on the critical pedestrian underpass that will provide a safe and accessible connection to from Parkville Station and the University of Melbourne to hospitals including the Royal Melbourne Hospital, without waits at busy traffic lights on Royal Parade. •

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