Flinders Street Station Design Competition launched

Nov 15, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Victorian Premier Ted Bailieu today announced details of the $1 million design competition to restore and revitalise Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station precinct.

The Premier launched the international design competition on the roof of the station, calling for “creative brilliance from across the globe so a Melbourne landmark site can be restored to its full potential”.

The design competition challenges entrants to address the entire 4.7-hectare site – which includes the administrative building, the platform area and the railyards to the west, an area that includes the Banana Alley Vaults and Queensbridge. The station was completed in 1910, and runs 250 metres along Flinders Street. Part of the building is currently occupied by Metro Trains, though several sections have remained unoccupied since the 1970s – including the station’s celebrated but long-abandoned ballroom.

The state government is offering an AU$1 million prize pool to entice entries from international architects and designers, though Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine said he anticipated that Victorian architects “who know and truly understand this magnificent but tired precinct” would submit some of the strongest proposals.

Competition objectives include:

  •   Returning the station to its former glory and re-using under-utilised areas
  •   Restoring and protecting the station’s heritage
  •   Improving the transport function of the station, catering for future growth
  •   Creating a significant civic space while allowing for a distinctive and memorable architectural outcome with a mix of uses
  •   Better integrating the station with its surrounding precincts
  •   Providing a value-for-money solution

The Premier stated the rejuvenated station would provide a new gateway to the city, saying: “This station and its surrounds should be better integrated with adjacent areas including Federation Square, Flinders Street and the north bank of the Yarra River.

“We see a rejuvenated Flinders Street Station as a partner to Federation Square, forming a new gateway public space for Melbourne and embracing potential major improvements to the Yarra’s northern bank and the CBD-river pedestrian routes.”

The design competition will follow a two-stage structure taken from the AIA competition guidelines. Initial design concepts will be submitted by mid-2012, with shortlisted entrants then invited to submit detailed proposals in 2013. Shortlisted teams will receive an honorarium to assist with the second stage.

Entries will be judged by panel chair Geoffrey London, Victorian Government Architect, and a team including a Melbourne-based architect, a City of Melbourne planning representative, a heritage architect, a representative from the Victorian Department of Transport, and three other members yet to be determined.

For more details, visit the Major Projects Victoria website: www.majorprojects.vic.gov.au

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