North East Link


The North East Link is a $16 billion project to develop 25 kilometres of new freeway infrastructure in Victoria – the largest public-private development ever seen in Australasia.

The winning design for the newly-approved project was designed by a specially-created Architecture Joint Venture (AJV) comprising experts from Warren and Mahoney, BKK and T.C.L, with further Indigenous consultation from Greenaway Architects.

While large-scale road projects have historically divided communities and reduced neighbourhood amenity value, we saw an opportunity to enhance the urban and cultural environment and strengthen the community offering.

As part of the Spark Consortium, we proposed a unique ‘people first’ design scheme. The overarching principle was ‘Connection to Country’, one of three pillars of the Kulin Nations Indigenous worldview. Two other pillars, Caring for Country and Connecting to People, guided our sustainability initiatives. As the first project of its scale and type globally to centre Indigenous knowledge, it sets a benchmark for meaningful engagement with first peoples.

Developed in close consultation with our engineering team, our proposal was carefully formulated to preserve and enhance the urban environment and minimise visual, noise, severance and ecological impacts. The scheme includes dozens of new and upgraded connections across the road corridor, as well as more than 25 kilometres of shared use paths, revitalised wetlands, active recreation spaces and cultural precinct space.

Key features of the proposed design*:

  • First road project in the world founded on the principles of the International Indigenous Design Charter
  • World-leading sustainability innovation, including 15MW of on-site solar energy
  • 40+ new, upgraded cross-corridor connections
  • 34 kilometres of new + upgraded shared-use paths
  • 9 new pedestrian footbridges
  • 100+ new public recreation facilities, including ball courts, solar-powered BBQ areas, fitness stations + skate park
  • 18 new art commissions
  • 33,000 new trees
  • 2.5 kilometres of daylighted creek
  • 4 hectares of new + upgraded wetlands
  • Water-sensitive urban design + Green Star ratings for all occupied + operations buildings.

*The design may evolve through the ongoing delivery process.