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Final stage of Flinders Street Station design competition to begin

The second and final stage of the Flinders Street Station Design Competition will begin tomorrow, Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett announced today.

Speaking during a tour of the station’s historic administration building, Mr Hodgett said the second and final stage of the competition would see the six shortlisted competitors work up final detailed designs before submitting their vision for the Melbourne icon in July.

“With a shortlist representing some of the best local and international architects, the anticipation and excitement about the competition is really building,” Mr Hodgett said.

“I am also happy to announce details of the voting system for the People’s Choice Award which will be a unique opportunity for the public to be involved in the competition.

“We want the People’s Choice Award to be more than just a beauty competition where people vote for what they think looks best based on artists’ impressions.

“Instead, we will be providing people with the same material that the jury receives and asking them to rate various aspects of the designs using similar criteria.

“The public will be encouraged to think about all aspects of the designs and give a considered response in keeping with the holistic nature of the competition.”

Mr Hodgett said the public would assess each shortlisted entry using the following categories:
– Overall design – the architectural, aesthetic and functional merit of the design
– Transport function – does the design improve the way the station works and allow for future growth?
– Heritage – how does the design work with the heritage features of the station?
– Urban Design and Precinct Integration – how does the design enhance the station’s public areas, create new public spaces and improve its integration with its surrounds?

Voters will also be asked to provide comments on the designs.

“Although the Australian Institute of Architects design competition guidelines do not allow for the People’s Choice vote to be considered by the jury, the information we gather will inform future plans for the station, such as those for refining or developing the winning design,” Mr Hodgett said.

“While it will be particularly promoted in Victoria through online voting and portable voting booths located in the precinct, the People’s Choice will be open internationally, allowing the many people overseas who are interested in the station and the competition to offer their feedback.

“This unique system will provide us with some very useful and interesting data. For example, it will be interesting to see if Victorians prefer the same designs as international voters or what aspects of the design are seen as the most important to people.

“This level of public engagement is the first of its kind. To have a People’s Choice vote in an architectural competition is only fitting giving the importance of Flinders Street Station.

“We want everyone to have their say on the future of the station precinct,” Mr Hodgett said.

The six finalists for the Flinders Street Station Design Competition, selected from 117 entries, are:

Ashton Raggatt McDougall (Melbourne)
John Wardle Architects + Grimshaw (Melbourne and UK)
HASSELL + Herzog & de Meuron (Melbourne and Switzerland)
NH Architecture (Melbourne)
Eduardo Velasquez + Manuel Pineda + Santiago Medina (Colombia via University of Melbourne) and,
Zaha Hadid Architecture & BVN Architecture (UK and Melbourne)