Skip to main content
Metro Tunnel

Metro Tunnel Legacy Artwork Program

The Metro Tunnel Legacy Artwork Program will provide world-class public art experiences for visitors and users of the Metro Tunnel, enhancing Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s cultural capital.

About the program

We are commissioning several major permanent artworks which will take pride of place across the Metro Tunnel for many years to come.

These include individual works at each of the tunnel's five new underground stations and its two entrances in the east and west, as well as a line-wide artwork that will span all five stations.

The Metro Tunnel Legacy Artwork Program and the Metro Tunnel Creative Program are guided by the Metro Tunnel Creative Strategy.

Western tunnel entrance artwork

Stephen Banham has been commissioned to create a permanent artwork for the 300 metre-long flood wall at the Metro Tunnel’s western entrance in Kensington.

Learn more about Stephen’s design concept.

Render of proposed artwork of green tiles on a a wall showing the text 'Lost water bottles: 21

Eastern tunnel entrance artwork

The commission for a permanent artwork at the Metro Tunnel’s eastern entrance in South Yarra will be open for expressions of interest soon.

Subscribe to our Art of Rail newsletter for updates.

Line-wide artwork

Renowned Victorian First Nations artist Maree Clarke is creating an artwork that will span all five Metro Tunnel underground stations.

Maree is working with the station architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and consulting with Traditional Owners to develop an embedded artwork that will feature across the platform levels in each of the five stations.

Maree Clarke at Anzac Station construction site

Station artworks

We are currently assessing shortlisted artists for the five individual station concepts, with consideration for the following curatorial themes:

  • Storytelling
  • Movement, repetition and time
  • Environment.

We expect to announce the successful artists in 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Public artworks have made metro stations must-see destinations in world cities such as London, Naples and Stockholm.

As Australia's cultural capital, where the creative industries contribute billions of dollars to the Victorian economy every year, it is fitting that we take the opportunity to include world-class art in Melbourne's new metro stations.

The western tunnel entrance artwork is being installed on a 300 metre-long flood wall adjacent JJ Holland Park. The flood wall is a necessary safety feature given the proximity of the tunnel entrance to the Maribyrnong River.

The eastern tunnel entrance artwork will be installed in the South Yarra Siding Reserve as part of overall plans to reinstate and enhance the reserve following Metro Tunnel construction.

The line-wide artist is working with the station architects and consulting with Traditional Owners to create an artwork that will be embedded within the architectural fabric of each of the five stations at platform level.

At Arden Station, the artwork will be located on the eastern façade of the station building, adjacent Laurens Street. The artist will work at an architectural scale to create a landmark artwork for the new precinct.

For Parkville Station, the artwork will be located in the public concourse under Grattan Street. The artist will engage with the biophilic design of the station and the themes of medicine, bioscience and wellbeing, which are particularly relevant to the Parkville precinct.

At State Library Station, a glazed wall at the main entrance on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets will allow the artist to work at an architectural scale with glass and light. The artwork will be a vibrant feature for one of Melbourne’s primary public spaces.

At Town Hall Station, the large, vaulted public concourse under City Square will host a large-scale elevated artwork. The artwork will be an important cultural marker viewed by thousands of commuters who will pass through Town Hall Station daily.

For Anzac Station, the artwork will be located in the underground concourse connecting Albert Road Reserve and the Shrine Reserve. The artist will consider the surrounding parkland and ceremonial setting of the station and may choose to work with themes relevant to the Anzac precinct.

The line-wide commission will be one artwork which spans all five stations and will be created by renowned Victorian First Nations artist Maree Clarke. The artwork will be embedded within the architectural fabric of each of the five stations at platform level.

Maree will work with Melbourne’s Traditional Owners to explore Indigenous narratives and stories that reflect the local character of each of the station precincts, but also speak to the experience of journey and travel across Melbourne.

Shortlisted artists for the Legacy Artwork Program are under a competitive evaluation process. In fairness to the artists involved in the process we keep this information confidential.

We will announce the selected artists once the formal commissioning process is complete and the artists have begun detailed design.

Artworks for the Legacy Artwork Program are being commissioned by direct invitation as well as through open expressions of interest.

  • The western portal artwork was selected from a shortlist of invited proposals.
  • The eastern portal artwork will be open to expressions of interest from Victorian First Nations artists.
  • The line-wide commission was via expressions of interest from First Nations artists only.
  • Commissions for the Arden, State Library and Town Hall stations were via an open call for expressions of interest.
  • Commissions for Parkville and Anzac stations were invited proposals.

All artists engaged through the Metro Tunnel Legacy Artwork Program will be paid for their work. Shortlisted artists who proceed to interview/concept stage will be paid honorariums and the final selected artists will be paid commission artist fees.