Flinders Street station could become a little more than just a plain old train station, with a billion dollar facelift on the horizon. It would include opening up the station and adding a central plaza, an amphitheatre by the Yarra River, a marketplace and an art gallery.
The proposed changes are a result of the state government’s $1 million competition to redesign Flinders St Station, which was won by Melbourne and Swiss architectural team HASSELL, Herzog & De Meuron. The ultramodern design, which would see the railway covered in long tube-like structures, looks significantly space age and clashes with the traditional façade that all Melburnians love. The station, synonymous with Melbourne, hasn’t changed since 1909 when the current design was completed. But parts of it have fallen into disrepair, so we can’t deny that the prospect of a revamp isn’t exciting…
We won’t be getting our hopes up any time soon though. The design is said to cost about $1-1.5 billion and the state government hasn’t committed to anything yet.
While the winners beat 118 competition entrants, it wasn’t the people of Melbourne’s preferred choice, with the people’s choice winner going to a group of Melbourne Uni students and graduates who re-designed the station with an extensive rooftop garden above the station tracks.
Will this facelift render the iconic symbol of Melbourne unrecognisable? Melbourne’s known not to shy away from left-of-centre designs, (Federation Square and RMIT: Swanston Academic Building can vouch for that!) so long as that famous golden façade isn’t touched!
Image: HASSELL, Herzog & De Meuron