cultural realisation is often expressed in major infrastructure. The studio works actively to integrate art and infrastructure to benefit the culture and community it supports. Experience with community consultation is an important component of our work.


Canberra Light Rail

Canberra Light Rail Stage 1 Gungahlin to Civic project. The project client is the ACT Government. The total project value is $707 million capital cost. The Canberra Metro consortium, formed by Pacific Partnerships, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, CPB Contractors, Deutsche Bahn International, CAF and the Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., will design, construct, maintain and operate the project for 20 years.

Light Rail Stage 1 is the first stage in the overall light rail masterplan which will deliver faster, more convenient and more sustainable transport options for Canberra over the next 20 years. Stage 1 includes the design and construction of a 12 km light rail route from the Gungahlin to the Civic with 13 stops, depot, road, signalling and preparatory works and the ongoing operation and maintenance of the light rail system.

Studio Colin Polwarth was approached by John Holland to assist in the urban design management of the project during the latter stages of the design and construct project. Studio Colin Polwarth worked closely with Project Co consortium of John Holland and CPB Contractors for the design, delivery and operations and maintenance of the Light Rail, with ACT Government and the approval authority the National Capital Authority to finalise the urban design. Engineering by AECOM and SMEC with architecture by Architectus and landscape design by DSB Landscape Architects was brought to completion over a 10-month period while construction continued.

Studio Colin Polwarth assisted with the design management of the final stages of typical stops and the Design Advisory Review process, and the integration of the largest stop at Civic into the commercial heart of Canberra. Civic has sensitive heritage and cultural landscape qualities. Colin managed all aspects of the urban design including the wayfinding and urban design approval process. He worked closely with Architectus, UAP and artist Hannah Quinlivan and the project team to realise the concept design for the continuous artwork along the full length of Stage 1.

All visualisations supplied by Architectus (AI3D) with acknowledgement to Project Co. for their use and approval by ACT Government.


Pacific Complete

The Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade involves the duplication of 155 kilometers to a four-lane divided road. The upgrade starts about six kilometers north of Woolgoolga (north of Coffs Harbour) and ends about six kilometers south of Ballina, bypassing the towns of South Grafton, Ulmarra, Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell.

Joint funding has been provided by the Australian and NSW Governments. Roads and Maritime Services is responsible for delivery of the project. Pacific Complete was engaged by Roads and Maritime Services in a joint venture between Laing O'Rourke and WSP, as the delivery partner working with its Pacific Highway Project Office. Pacific Complete works closely with Roads and Maritime to manage multiple contracts in delivering the design and construction of the upgrade. The delivery model is based on the approach used to oversee construction of the London Olympics and supports collaboration and innovation by bringing businesses, workers, consumers and suppliers together.

Studio Colin Polwarth and Corkery Consulting worked collaboratively with Roads and Maritime and Pacific Complete to coordinate of the urban and landscape design across the multiple sections of the upgrade.. We coordinated the design management of all aspects of the urban and landscape design in consultation with:

  • Glenugie to Maclean- GHD with consultants Conybeare Morrison (CM+) and Context Landscape Design, which included Glenugie Link WSP

  • Maclean to Devils Pulpit – Arcadis with consultants Spackman Mossop and Michaels

  • Bridge over Clarence River– Acciona Ferrovial Harwood Joint Venture with Arup, UDLP consultant Studio Colin Polwarth and Corkery Consulting with assistance by Spackman Mossop and Michaels

  • Devils Pulpit to Richmond River- ARUP and Cardno with consultant Hassell

  • Bridge over Richmond River- Lendlease with SMEC and consultants Hassell

  • Richmond River to Ballina - SMEC with consultants Spackman Mossop and Michaels with Tract

Devils Pulpit to Richmond River won the ALIA State Award in 2017.

All images from the combined team urban and landscape design plans.


St Helena Tunnel

One of the largest abstract landscape paintings in Australia was designed by Colin Polwarth completed near Byron Bay in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW in late 2015. The painting is almost a kilometer long, painted in the twin tunnel vaults as part of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Upgrade of the Pacific Highway. The urban design for the project was led by Colin Polwarth as Associate Director for CM+ Urban Design and administered by Studio Colin Polwarth until 2012. The project was designed by Arcadis and constructed by Lendlease.

Experientially, motorists on the Pacific Highway experience the landscape of the area at Bangalow as a patterned agricultural vibration at high speed; the landscape is verdant, modified and highly productive. Gridded plantations of coffee, macadamia trees and pastures evoke a passionate connection with land in this highly scenic holiday destination.

The project recently won the prestigious 2016 National Engineering award by Engineers Australia.


Cutler VC Interchange

The Cutler VC Interchange Rebranding project comprises an upgrade of the interchange and rest area as part of Remembrance Driveway Committee and Roads and Maritime Services improvements. The project included a media alert for road users to the correct name of the interchange, three new feature pillar signs at each gore area of the triangular interchange with the Victoria Cross , a naming plate and a feature pole and light for the pyramid apex. Future works include tree planting at the interchange. The project also includes a revitalisation of the Cutler VC Rest Area at Prestons. The project was co-funded by Roads and Maritime Services, Remembrance Driveway Committee, Westlink M7 and Interlink M5. Consultants included Studio Colin Polwarth and AECOM. Construction by HiViz and UAP.


Tunnel Link

This confidential project was completed by Studio Colin Polwarth and a multidisciplinary team in 2016; renderings by archvis. The project included a high quality response to tunnel entry and noise walls on viaducts that address headlight screen and viewing potential from the elevated ramp.


Westlink M7

Westlink M7 is one of NSW longest tolled motorways, operated by Transurban, constructed by Leightons Abigroup JV. It was opened in 2007 completing a major section of Sydney's Orbital stretching 40km across Western Sydney. It includes a separate 40km, 4m wide shared path. Colin was project leader for the urban design as an Associate of Conybeare Morrison and designed all visible components of the $1.5 billion project.


Northern Distributor Extension Wollongong

The Farrell Street truss bridge references the steel industry of Wollongong set in the context of the dramatic turquoise-blue Illawarra Escarpment. The upgraded section of road is contextually designed to fit into the landscape. Colin designed all visible elements of the project as Associate of Conyebeare Morrison including the bridge, retaining wall and noise wall design.


Inner West Busway Along Victoria Road

The new bridge over Iron Cove duplicates the historic Pratt Truss bridge, and was the first new Sydney Harbour crossing in decades. Colin designed all visible elements of the project as Associate Director of Conybeare Morrison including the bridge design. Victoria Road was also upgraded to include bus only lanes between Drummoyne and Rozelle.


Brunswick Heads to Yelgun Upgrade of the Pacific Highway

Located in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW, the upgraded Pacific Highway crosses Brunswick River with a triple balanced cantilever bridge. The elegant bridges were designed by Colin as an Associate of Conybeare Morrison. The project also included the highly recognisable Billinudgel Pedestrian Bridge. The project won two major industry awards.