Opened in 1854, Flinders Street Station in Melbourne has long been the gateway for Melbourne’s CBD, servicing over 100,000 Melbournites daily. Holding almost no purpose other than transition and providing a beautiful aesthetic of the history of our fair Nation, it’s probably not before time the ‘Victorian Grand Central Station’ had a little face-lift.
Let us rephrase that. A complete overhaul.
The brief for the competition to design the new station was set by the incumbent Victorian Government and in not so many words, allows for a significant wield of the architectural axe to the site. Fun. 118 entrants (including the prolific Zaha Hadid), submitted proposals and we are happy to announce that of the six finalists, the winner is Australian big-hitter and KE-ZU client Hassell, working in conjunction with Herzog & de Meuro!
Hassell’s partner in the bid, Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has completed major projects such as the Tate Modern in London in 2000 and the National Stadium in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games – a pretty impressive list of credentials you’d agree.
The winning design will see the railway covered by a series of cylindrical structures, providing thoroughfare and platforms of pure delight, includes an amphitheatre, a market place and also a floating stage – thereby utilizing public the public arena in a space efficient and civil minded manner providing more public space, a complement to the CBD laneways home to some of Australia’s trendiest hospitality spots but perhaps most importantly, linking the rail station with the Yarra River currently hidden by the station grounds. The development could perhaps be the final link for Melbourne to cement itself as the most progressive city in the country.
With an impressive $1 - $1.5 billion price tag, the current Victorian Premier Denis Napthine says negotiations will now get underway to see if the project is viable. Regardless, Hassell and Herzog & de Meuron have proposed a fabulous and extremely diligent design. Fingers crossed for the project!
Never to be left behind in the Melbourne v Sydney race - what’s next on the cards for Sydney we wonder?