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Friday25 July 2014

Herzog & de Meuron, Hassell and Purcell triumph in Melbourne station contest

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$1 million Flinders Street project is Swiss practice’s first in Australia

Hassell, Herzog & de Meuron and Purcell have won the $1 million international design competition for the redevelopment of Melbourne’s historic Flinders Street Station.

The team beat off entries by 116 others - including a shortlist that featured Grimshaw and Zaha Hadid - with the jury’s decision being unanimous.

The project aims to upgrade the station into a 21st-century transport hub while retaining its best-known heritage features and buildings. 

The winning scheme also proposes turning the 4.68ha site beside the River Yarra into a new civic precinct with an indigenous art gallery, plaza, amphitheatre, marketplace and a permanent home for arts and festival organisations.

Jacques Herzog said: “We are excited that our first project in Australia will be a truly public building with such a rich history and inspiring context.”

Mark Loughnan, from Melbourne-based Hassell, said the station had been compromised by successive changes.

“Today it is a place that people generally choose to hurry through. Our design makes it a destination, with new buildings and features that will attract people to the precinct,” he said.

London-based Purcell is acting as heritage consultant. Partner Michael Morrison said: “It was critical that the proposal preserved Flinders Street as a working station, not a transport museum. The most familiar built fabric, the Flinders Street building and the corner entrance pavilion, will be unaltered, but carefully restored and brought back into public use. They will be painted in the original colours. The new building integrates with them by reflecting the spirit of the original design.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I wonder how many of the winning architects staff will go through the pedantic and expensive registration process in Australia, one which apes that of the UK, and then find it so difficult they don't bother (like many non-EU architects don't bother to do in the UK).

    Oh well if they're not happy with it they can always get in contact with ARB and ask why ARB pulled out of the reciprocation deal back in 2000!

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  • Conceptually malignant.

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