The Victorian Coalition Government has launched a $1 million international Flinders Street Station precinct design competition as a first step in the area’s restoration and revival. After being deserted for several years, the administration building is derelict and access and facilities are well below acceptable standards.

Premier Ted Baillieu explains, “We are looking for the world’s best ideas to restore and reinvigorate the Flinders Street Station precinct, including the station concourse, platforms and historic administration building and through to the Banana Alley Vaults and Queensbridge.”

“This precinct calls for creative brilliance from across the globe so a Melbourne landmark site can be restored to its full potential. This competition will harness the very best ideas and help bring the precinct back to life,” Mr Baillieu said.

Mr Baillieu, along with Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine, launched the competition on the roof of the station.

Objectives of the competition include:

  • returning the station to its former glory and re-using under-utilised areas
  • restoring and protecting the station’s heritage
  • improving the transport function and catering for future growth of the station
  • creating a significant civic space while allowing for a distinctive and memorable architectural outcome with a mixture of uses
  • better integration of the station with its surrounding precincts; and
  • providing a value-for-money solution
The Coalition Government is looking for designs that account for the entire 4.7 hectare site which includes the administration building, the platform area and the railyards to the west. The design ideas should also improve the precinct as well as conditions for commuters.

Mr Baillieu explained that they acknowledge the challenges attached to this project, including the conservation of the station facade and heritage values, as well as delivering the project without disruption to Flinders Street rail operation.”

Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine said Victoria had a strong tradition of design competitions for major public buildings.

“The examples of Federation Square and the Melbourne Museum show how successful competitions can be in delivering world-class design,” Dr Napthine said.

“Competitions attract the attention of the world’s best designers and help bring the public into the process.

“The $1 million prize pool will help attract the very best architects and designers from here and abroad, and I expect some of the strongest ideas will come from Victorian architects who know and truly understand this magnificent but tired precinct.”

More information and competition guidelines can be obtained from the Major Projects Victoria (MPV) website.