As part of the People’s Choice Award launch by Major Projects Victoria, this design by Grimshaw + John Wardle Architects was selected as one of the shortlisted competition proposals for the rejuvenation of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne. Their design conceives the station as an ensemble, each part precisely considerate of its place in the city. The theatrical nature of the station is amplified by the stitching of city to river. Landscape, bridges and vaults from the threads. More images and architects' description after the break.
Rather than a classic European end of the line station with a grand internalized hall, the approach has been to focus on the urban edges - the interfaces with the city. The station is not an oasis, separate from the city.
Our design emphasizes great public spaces at the four edges of the station. A grand bustling station plaza opposite Federation Square is sheltered by the edge of a new design museum. A new park to the west leaps across the train lines weaving together the bridges over the Yarra River into the greater fabric of the city. Vaulted archways hold niche activities to invigorate the river walk and elevated gardens over the top of the arches link park to plaza. A new Grand Railway Dining Room and restored Ballroom bookend the historic buildings along the Flinders Street city edge. In the center, the new concourse bridges become promenades further tying the river back to the city.
Together, these ideas respond to our central theme of “Transport Theatre” where the station is a place for watching the daily life of the city. It is built upon the experience of movement to include the theatrical and varied nature of civic experiences – promenades, vaults, amphitheatres, seats, parks, and the spectacle of arrival and departure that a truly landmark railway station provides.
The design responds to practical and critical transport demands, in particular the need to re-imagine the station to cater for the significant growth in public transport patronage. Our decision to re-orientate the existing concourse to the north allows the station to operate in a highly effective way, drawing people through the historic building fabric, and releases the eastern end of the precinct for new civic use.
For more information on the competition, please visit here.
CollaboratorsRoom 11 Architects, RBA Heritage Architects and SKM Engineers