The Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 million international Flinders Street Station precinct design competition is a vital first step in the area’s restoration and revival, Premier Ted Baillieu said today.
“We are looking for the world’s best ideas to restore and reinvigorate the Flinders Street Station precinct, including the station concourse, platforms and historic administration building and through to the Banana Alley Vaults and Queensbridge,” Mr Baillieu said.
“This precinct calls for creative brilliance from across the globe so a Melbourne landmark site can be restored to its full potential. This competition will harness the very best ideas and help bring the precinct back to life.
“After years of neglect, the administration building has been left derelict while access and facilities are well below an acceptable standard.
“While the Coalition Government acknowledges that delivering a project of this scale and ambition will be costly and complex, this competition will give Victorians a winning design to guide future development.”
Launching the competition on the roof of the station with Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine, Mr Baillieu said the objectives of the competition included:
- 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; and
- providing a value-for-money solution.
The Coalition Government is seeking ideas and designs that address the whole 4.7 hectare site – the administration building, the platform area and the railyards to the west – which improve the precinct as well as conditions for commuters.
“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,” Mr Baillieu said.
“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.
“We also acknowledge the enormous challenges attached to this project, including the conservation of the station façade and heritage values and delivering this project while Flinders Street continues to operate and expand as Melbourne’s busiest railway station.”
Mr Baillieu also announced the panel which would decide on the competition winner. The panel will include:
- Geoffrey London (Victorian Government Architect – panel Chair)
- a Melbourne architect
- a City of Melbourne planning representative
- an architect with heritage experience
- a representative from the Victorian Department of Transport
- three other members (to be determined)
Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine said Victoria had a strong tradition of design competitions for major public buildings.
“The examples of Federation Square and the Melbourne Museum show how successful competitions can be in delivering world-class design,” Dr Napthine said.
“Competitions attract the attention of the world’s best designers and help bring the public into the process.
“The $1 million prize pool will help attract the very best architects and designers from here and abroad, and I expect some of the strongest ideas will come from Victorian architects who know and truly understand this magnificent but tired precinct.”
Flinders Street Station was completed in 1910. The administration building is four storeys high, more than 250 metres long and 10 metres wide. It is partly occupied by Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) with the remaining sections of the building largely unoccupied since the 1970s.
After years of neglect the building is deteriorating. Some parts are derelict while substantial areas do not meet building code requirements and are not suitable for occupation.
Read the Competition Guidelines