Shortlisted as one the six finalists for the Flinders Street Station Design Competition, NH was excited to reimagine the cornerstone in Melbourne’s urban evolution, from its Victorian past to the contemporary global city of today, it holds symbolic resonance as the meeting point of Melbourne. Civic pride is represented in the Station’s great ‘postcard’ dome, arched portal and the famous clocks which connect Melbourne’s growing commuter network, to the daily life of the central city.
Historically and ideologically, the station has been tethered to Robert Hoddle’s original nineteenth-century city grid plan. However, over recent decades the station has begun to establish a new connection, with a network of public spaces and institutional buildings dotted along the Yarra River corridor. 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.
We proposed that the ‘New Station’ would be generated from a combination of conceptual diagrams, with the ribbons of infrastructure being overlaid with a new form of public networking.
Flinders Street Station and its wider precinct was proposed to 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 station to Melbourne’s continuing evolution.
These city connections work in parallel with a rejuvenated station that retains its traditional plein-air quality. A glazed lattice roof floats above the station’s concourses, offering commuters weather protection and dappled daylight without interrupting the historical views of the original 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. This allows access to the heritage platforms from either end of the station, therefore meeting the challenges of an ever-expanding transport network.
At the centre of this precinct stands a new public landmark: the Melbourne Room. This landmark venue compresses the DNA of the city into a room able to accommodate the cultural spillover from Federation Square, the artistic visions of the Victorian Arts Centre, 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.