Alongside the transformation of Festival Plaza, the Adelaide Railway Station is undergoing its own revitalisation – becoming a unique standalone destination that excites and connects people.
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About the project
An architectural competition held in 1924 saw 19 designs submitted for the Adelaide Railway Station, with Daniel Garlick and Herbert Jackman awarded the winning design. Construction cost an estimated £800,000 and, while it almost bankrupted the state during the onset of the Great Depression, it kept hundreds of construction workers in paid employment.
The station soon became the epicentre of train travel in South Australia and a thriving place to shop and socialise. People flocked to experience its giant, American-style locomotives, as well as to dine at the Overland Dining Hall (now The Guardsman), buy sweets and tobacco, get their hair cut, visit the beauty parlour, send a telegram or have their baby weighed.
The station is a State Heritage Place and one of the finest remaining examples of neoclassical architecture in Australia.
Located in the heart of the Adelaide Riverbank, the Adelaide Railway Station is now one of the CBD’s busiest destinations, attracting a steady mix of commuters, city workers, tourists and event-goers. Approximately 230,000 commuters use the station every week, totalling 12 million commuters per year.
As an important part of this precinct, the station itself is undergoing a revitalisation. The overall aim of the revitalisation work is to transform the station into a place where people want to spend time, not just pass through.
At the conclusion of the project, the station will be a vibrant public space which connects people; physically, socially and culturally, and will offer diverse shopping and dining options for commuters, tourists, city residents and local workers. Importantly the project will honour the station’s unique 1920s character.
On behalf of the state government, Renewal SA has been embarking upon a significant revitalisation of the station that will see many of its heritage features restored and celebrated, and that will introduce a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences reminiscent of the station’s heyday.
The revitalisation program has been undertaken in stages and has included the conservation of the station’s external neoclassical facade, including the Ionic columns, cornices, large arched windows, ornaments and the Adelaide Railway Station clock.
The program also involved the uplift of the North Terrace Street frontage, entrances and the station ramp to ensure the architectural features were reflective of the clean and simple lines of the art deco period in which the station was built. Architectural lighting has also been installed both internally and externally of the station to enhance its night-time presence and better showcase its imposing dimensions, smooth arches and striking geometric detail. Additional heritage enhancements undertaken during the revitalisation program include the removal of the pedestrian airbridge and the reinstatement of the historic central concourse balcony. The removal of the airbridge will restore unobstructed views along the grand concourse for the first time in almost 30 years.
Upgrade of commercial tenancies was also undertaken to contribute to the overall commercial offering in the station.
These works were designed to complement the Festival Plaza upgrade, including the creation of the impressive award-winning northern entrance which opened in 2021.
Renewal SA is overseeing and managing the upgrade of commercial tenancies and the negotiation of future leasing opportunities in the Adelaide Railway Station and is working to provide a viable and compelling retail/service mix for commuters, CBD workers and visitors to the Adelaide Riverbank. Integral to this is the enhancement of the unique heritage setting of the Adelaide Railway Station and a focus on providing an attractive visitor experience.
Renewal SA is looking for operators who can leverage the great potential of the Adelaide Railway Station and add to the utility and vibrancy of this critical public space.
We are revitalising the overall commercial offering in the station through a combination of tenancy upgrades plus the establishment of new quality retail and service offerings. By taking a staged approach to upgrading tenancies there are opportunities for both short- and long-term leasing arrangements as well as pop-up opportunities.
Renewal SA’s Asset Management Team is available to provide further information and advice about current and future leasing opportunities in the Adelaide Railway Station.
Senior Asset Manager, Renewal SA
0417 854 359