Federation Square Info-Hub
Federation Square will host a new visitor information centre and form a key part of the city’s cultural life, the Major Projects Minister, John Pandazopoulos, said today. Unveiling the design for the info-hub on the northwest corner of Federation Square, Mr Pandazopoulos said he welcomed Melbourne City Council’s decision last night to establish a visitor information centre on this key pedestrian gateway into the new city block. “We will have a new icon at this central Melbourne intersection, to match the other landmark buildings – Flinders Street Station, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Young and Jackson Hotel”, Mr Pandazopoulos said. The 8 metre high building replaces the former western “shard” building which at 22 metres obscured the heritage view of St Paul’s Cathedral. “The Info-Hub provides an important functional and eye-catching entrance onto Melbourne’s newest city block,” Mr Pandazopoulos said. “This new design captures the architectural style of Federation Square, and balances the need to retain and preserve significant views of St Paul’s Cathedral,” he said. The new design has a maximum height of eight metres on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street, with a gradual slope down to six metres. It will be largely constructed of glass, zinc and steel. The extensive use of glass will make the building partly transparent and a particularly striking feature at night. The changed design which is awaiting a minor amendment to the existing planning permit is expected to reduce construction costs by approximately $1,000,000. The Melbourne Visitor Information Centre will be operated by the City of Melbourne in association with Federation Square Management. The Visitor Information Centre is proposed to provide: Information about Melbourne and Victoria A tours information and booking service Accommodation reservations service Access to toilets and change rooms Event information and ticket sales A foreign currency exchangeCity of Melbourne staff and volunteers will operate the Centre. Mr Pandazopoulos said: “This is the place where so many of the state’s visitors pass, particularly on their way to destinations such as the MCG, Melbourne and Olympic Parks, Victorian Arts Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Southgate, the Yarra River and the central business district. Federation Square Chief Executive Officer, Peter Seamer, said: “Research conducted last year calculated that the Flinders Street corner recorded approximately 63,000,000 visits annually, making it probably the busiest pedestrian intersection in Victoria. The centre is expected to attract and help more than 600,000 people a year and mostly visitors to Victoria.” “This is one of the last tenancies to be negotiated for Federation Square. The $340 million project is now on target for the first sections to start opening towards the end of the year,” Mr Seamer said. A second Open Day at Federation Square is planned to coincide with the Centenary of Federation activities in Melbourne later this year. Federation Square is a joint initiative between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne with funding assistance from the Federal Government. It will house The Ian Potter Centre – NGV: Australian Art (the world’s largest and finest collection of Australian art), the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (incorporating Cinemedia and SBS), Visitor Information Centre, a function centre, restaurants, cafes and bars, and grand civic spaces including the Atrium, an informal 400-seat Amphitheatre and the 10,000 sqm public plaza.