Our proposal respects the heritage, improves all aspects of the transport hub, and underscores its central civic nature with new cultural and public functions for all residents and visitors to Melbourne.
Overall design merit
Decades after the people of Melbourne first talked about “meeting under the clocks” at Flinders Street Station, the HASSELL + Herzog and de Meuron proposal updates it for the 21st Century, turning it from a place to hurry through to a destination.
The overall design merit of the proposal can be seen in a new, major public art gallery, public plaza, amphitheatre, marketplace, and a permanent home for arts and cultural festival organisations. But we have also delivered the glory of the first 19th Century design for Flinders Street Station.
Transport function is greatly improved, with new or improved concourses making it easier to get in and out. New weather-proof vaulted rooves flood the platforms with dappled, natural light and ventilation. Taxi ranks are relocated to Flinders Street and the tram stop between the station and Federation Square redesigned to improve the connection across St Kilda Road. A bike path under the station through the old western concourse links cycle ways on the river and Elizabeth Street.
Cultural heritage and iconic status
The cultural heritage and iconic status of the station is protected, with the built fabric that most people are familiar with – the Flinders Street building and corner entrance pavilion – are both retained, and paintwork returned to the original colours.
The vaulted rooves that greatly improve the passenger experience are inspired by features of the original design that were never realised. The new elements, particularly the Oceanic and Contemporary Art Gallery, enhance the station’s iconic status.
Urban design and precinct integration
Good urban design and precinct integration breathe new life into the city, stitching it together. The restored station and the new art gallery fill the missing link between the cultural precinct encompassing St Kilda Road and Federation Square with the old Customs House and the Immigration Museum on Flinders Street.
The station itself is better integrated with the city, the river and Federation Square. Distinctive and memorable architecture sits with significant civic space and high quality public amenity.