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Flinders Street Station

The urban location of the Flinders precinct holds a crucial and unique role in Melbourne CBD. Located within a dynamic corridor defined by the flows of the rail tracks and the Yarra River, the precinct also acts as a transitional space: A Janus Bifrons of two colliding urban patterns, the Hoddle Grid and South Yarra. Given its location the precinct naturally becomes a central hub for transportation – the area is also close to a tight collection of cultural, recreational, and sporting facilities. This urban condition is a decisive element for the design proposal. The proposal stems from the interpretation of the whole site not just as an enclosed area that lives within its boundaries, but also as a breathing organism that extends itself beyond its limits while absorbing the city and its landscape within it. In the area, the new development and the existing facilities are thought of as an urban condenser; an urban device that interprets the in-between transitional nature of the site and the three main directions of the city: X, Y and Z; An architecture compound able to enhance the connection system within the precinct and to offer a degree of variation in forms, scale, and activities that reflect the complexity of the city of Melbourne. Along the boundaries, North and South, Flinders Street has been thought of as an urban green axis, while the riverbank is transformed in a river park. Pedestrian areas and public transport are here considered vital and hence addressed with a design strategy that aims to create clarity and urban activation. The edge facing Federation Square was addressed by creating as much visual transparency as possible and by extending a pedestrian oriented domain. The Banana Alley area hosts the west-end development, becoming the main entry point to the new buildings. This is visually activated through the insertion of water and a more intriguing, colorful landscape. Within this broader strategy the existing station building is approached as a historical landmark that is carefully integrated into the overall design. Hence, the proposal consists of different degrees of restoration ranging from conservative approaches to more balanced and adaptive re-uses. Overall, the design proposal aims to define a strategy towards the complexity of the site, by addressing the brief requirements and suggesting a design approach, rather than a definitive solution.

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station

Flinders St Station, Melbourne, Australia, International design competition

2012