Beautiful, light, airy: stations designed for the subtropics

Taking cues from nature, the transformational Cross River Rail on Yuggera and Turrbal Country will deliver a commuter experience tuned to Brisbane, Australia’s subtropical climate and relaxed outdoor living culture.

From increasing shade at station entrances, drawing breezes inside and filtering sunlight into the station galleries, Cross River Rail’s (CRR) new underground stations will transform the commuter experience, with the design returning to the elemental idea of creating shelters in the landscape.

The first sketch for the project was of a Moreton Bay fig tree,” says Principal Kevin Lloyd. Its filtered sunlight and deep, cooling shade epitomised a place of subtropical respite in the city. This image became the genesis of an idea for the stations as a series of simple shelters where nature would be part of the experience and expression of the architecture.” 

Mature trees, garden plazas and generous sailing rooflines will mark the entrances to new underground stations at Roma Street, Albert Street, Woolloongabba and Boggo Road stations. While each station is unique in form and expression, a single idea unifies them all — a trademark entrance canopy.

What emerged [from the first sketch] was a really strong theme around canopies that provide shades,” says Principal Keith Allen.

They are building structures but they’re more like pavilions… and they create a really unique identity for the project within the city.”

— Principal, Keith Allen

Memorable, civic in nature, and unique to each city enclave, the stations will elevate the CRR commuter experience in the tradition of Central Stations worldwide — creating places that welcome, excite and streamline the commuters’ journey.

The beautiful, light, airy architecture that’s come into these stations says, we’re in subtropical Brisbane, and this is our way to do the Grand Central Station’.”

— Director General, Queensland Transport and Main Roads, Sally Stannard

Scheduled to open in 2026, CRR will be ready to welcome local, interstate and international visitors for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics and will play a crucial role in supporting Brisbane’s evolution as a thriving subtropical metropolis. 

To understand how each station will transform Brisbane, watch the video below. 


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