Mornington Peninsula, VIC
- ARM Architecture
27 km of road
Seaford to Mt Martha
1.5 million plantings
25 km walking and cycling path
18,000 m2 of retaining walls
Peninsula Link celebrates the art of driving. The freeway is a 15-minute ride through five character zones including the zigzag blue panels of the Peninsula Portal at Carrum Downs to the flickering, swoopy geometry of the Woodland Experience, the rock-like panels of the urban-rural Threshold at Baxter and the Green Rooms just before the road’s end at Mt Martha.
The freeway is an extension of EastLink that stretches from Seaford to Mount Martha.
Designers and roads
Engineers design freeways for efficiency and safety. Our role as architects was to offer pure urban design advice. We considered the human, plant and animal communities the freeway passed through. We worked to respect their needs and to create an exciting experience for drivers, locals and visitors alike. We were the project’s conscience.
Our noise walls are the first in Victoria to be made from heavy-duty plastic, the sort used for water tanks and wheelie bins. The 40 different high-density polyethylene panels were made in Seaford. The panels are far more environmentally friendly than concrete because they can be installed by hand (rather than by crane), they are made locally, and they can be recycled.
The walls are patterned on both sides, creating a textured backdrop for the 25-kilometres of walking and cycling paths that flank the freeway. The pathway is the biggest extension to Victoria’s shared use path network since EastLink trail.
The elevated, earth-coloured Woodland Experiences section goes through The Pines, a 108-hectare remnant bushland reserve in Frankston North. Beneath the Woodland zone is a series of wildlife underpasses. Some are as narrow as a burrow while the largest one—six metres high and 40 metres wide—is big enough for humans.
Three new public sculptures were created for the Cultural Landscape zone. Louise Paramor’s bright stack of Lego-like shapes, Panorama Station, is permanent. Phil Price’s wind-activated kinetic piece Tree of Life and Dean Collis’s Rex Australis (a giant rusted ram’s head) are installed for two years and will then be acquired by McClelland Sculpture Park in Frankston. Colour and design features help drivers find their place even when they are travelling fast.