Jury "unanimous" on Swiss-Australian team's Melbourne redevelopment plan
Melbourne and Basel-based architectural team HASSELL, Herzog & de Meuron has won the $1m international design competition for the redevelopment of the historic Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia, Victoria state premier Denis Naphthine announced on Thursday.
"The jury was unanimous in its decision to award first prize to HASSELL, Herzog & de Meuron, describing their design as ‘a beautiful and compelling integration of aspects of the original station design, strongly reinforcing its gateway status'," Napthine said.
The project beat five other short-listed entries from a total of 117 entrants to the competition, which was judged by a jury chaired by the Victorian Government Architect, Professor Geoffrey London.
"Over the years, Flinders Street Station has 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, Mark Loughnan of Melbourne firm HASSELL said.
Originally completed in 1909, Flinders Street Station is a much-loved railway station in Melbourne. The first station that stood on the site was opened in 1854 with a single platform which welcomed the first steam train journey in Australia. As passenger demands increased, Melbourne Terminus underwent a series of redevelopments resulting in the Flinders Street Station of today which greets over 100,000 commuters each day with its row of clocks and stunning heritage features.
"Our proposal for the Flinders Street Station underscores the civic nature of a train station by complementing it with cultural and public functions rather than purely commercial activities. The weatherproof, articulated filigree vaulted roof-scape is a respectful yet dynamic interpretation and contextual response to the history, function and location of this very special place in the heart of Melbourne, said Ascan Mergenthaler of Switzerland's Herzog & de Meuron.
Meanwhile, the Flinders Street Station Design Competition People's Choice Award was won by the University of Melbourne team of Eduardo Velasquez, Manuel Pineda and Santiago Medina won, the Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett announced on Thursday.
HASSELL + Herzog & de Meuron took third place in the People's Choice Award with their design, just behind John Wardle Architects and Grimshaw's project.
Flinders Street Station is the hub of Melbourne's fixed rail network with connections to other transport modes. It sits on a 4.68 hectare site on the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River, adjacent to the city's Federation Square and important arts and cultural institutions.
The Victorian Coalition Government announced a $1m international design competition for the restoration of the station in November 2011. Inundated with responses, the jury panel selected six shortlisted teams in October 2012 before releasing the designs last month.
The competition was posted by WAN's Business Information Service.