Designed by NH Architecture, their competition entry for the Flinders Street Station in Melbourne was recently shorlisted for the People’s Choice Award, organized by Major Projects Victoria. Their design seeks to capture this ‘Melbourness’ and create a new landmark for the city. From cultural to sporting, transport to tourism, this connection between the city and the river binds its colonial past with a trajectory for the next century. Their concept is generated from a combination of conceptual diagrams with the ribbons of infrastructure being over laid with a new form of public networking. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Flinders Street Station and its wider precinct can become the host for a range of new civic spaces and places. A pedestrian bridge extending across the river from Hamer Hall and a major Station entry at its Western end suggests new urban linkages that further bind the precinct into Melbourne’s continuing evolution. These city connections work in parallel with a rejuvenated station that retains its traditional pleinairquality. A glazed lattice roof floats above the station concourses, offering commuters weather protection and dappled daylight without interrupting the historical views of the original Station building or across the river to Melbourne’s Southbank precinct.
This scenic quality is further enhanced by a new pedestrian loop that connects an expanded eastern concourse with a new western concourse, allowing access to the heritage platforms from either end of the station: the challenges of an ever expanding transport network must be met. At the centre of this precinct, a new public landmark: the Melbourne Room.
This landmark venue compresses the genetic DNA of the city into a room able to accommodate the cultural spill-over from Federation Square, the artistic visions of the Victorian Arts Center, the sporting icon of the Brownlow Medal presentation or the wild and dangerous world of Circus Oz. Part transport network, part cultural condenser and a new landmark for the Yarra River, the redevelopment of Flinders Street Station will become a partner to Federation Square as a new city focus and a next generation postcard for national and international visitors.
Pedestrian and commuter flow from the western precincts of Melbourne is a significant component of the Station’s daily population. Similarly, the percentage distribution of passengers at the Elizabeth Street entries and exits illustrates it carries the same loads as the more famous Flinders –Swanston Street Corner. We propose a major new western entry to the Station, providing a clear and legible arrival sequence to the Western Concourse. New escalators and stairs connection Flinders Street to the western concourse – one set is within the existing building and connects to the Elizabeth Street intersection and the second set is part of a rejuvenated Milk Dock that engages Queens Street and beyond. Similarly, the proposed pedestrian river bridge will make a significant contribution to the pedestrian flow arriving to the Station from the South.
We propose a new upper level station loop above the existing platforms that provides spacious, convenient and safe connections from the surrounding pedestrian network. A ticket zone is located within the station loop at either end of the platforms. Station entry points at the western end of the site and from Southbank add capacity and open the station to all sides of the city. The Station Loop accommodates associated services, commercial and public uses and provides additional shelter to the lower platforms whilst retaining access to fresh air and natural light. It also enables improved connectivity to tram interchanges at the Elizabeth Street intersection, the relocated bus interchange toward Queens Street and the integration of the MMRT.
Our project uses elements such as the Station Dome and the Elizabeth Street clock tower as the generator of our urban geometry. For example the position, orientation and geometry of the Melbourne Room has been generated from the alignment established by the old Sandridge Rail Bridge while the ‘open air’ above the existing platforms ensures the grandeur of the Southern facade of the administration building remains a feature for daily commuters. Similarly, the Swanston Street heritage canopies remain the predominant address and station aesthetic when approaching from Federation Square.
We propose a new pedestrian bridge, spanning across the Yarra, to connect the Southbank Arts Centre upper promenade with a new civic plaza within the Flinders Street Station precinct. At the centre point of this public place sits the Melbourne Room. Equally, the existing coat hanger bridge and the old Sandridge rail bridge have been knitted into the North Bank promenade allowing access to both the Urban Green and the Western concourse of the station. The existing signal box at the northern end of the Sandridge Bridge is proposed as the central hub for and Arts-walk that extends along the north bank promenade and incorporates the Elizabeth Street underpass and the new rampart connection to Princes Bridge.