Federation Square to transform Melbourne


“This area, once scorned with contempt, will now be embraced forever.”

Mr. Kennett said the site where the gas and fuel buildings once stood would become the new hub of the city.

Federation Square is a $128 million project funded by the Melbourne Government and City Council. The $90 million rationalization of Jolimont, which involves moving the Metropol building and reducing the number of rail lines to 12, will be funded by the government.

The government will also fund a $95 million extension of Exhibition Street to the City Link project, and the council will provide $15 million for the rejuvenation of the riverside park.

The design competition received 177 entries, 25 percent of which came from abroad. The seven-member jury, chaired by Professor Neville Quarry from the University of Sydney, shortlisted five companies.


Professor Quarry said the winner delivered a challenging piece of architecture. Many buildings would have facades of stone, zinc or glass. He said the winner was chosen unanimously.

“The winning proposal is an exciting, original and smart complex of buildings and spaces that will enrich the city, engage the public in witty and sympathetic architecture and be an inspiring addition to Melbourne’s heritage,” said Professor Quarry’s report. .

Work on the project is expected to begin early next year and be completed in 2001.

One of the architects responsible for the design, Mr. Peter Davidson of Lab Architectural Studio, said the concept was innovative but not derivative. He said it was partly inspired by Melbourne’s extensive pedestrian network of arcades and alleyways.

None of the zinc, sandstone, and glass buildings would be higher than the dome of Flinders Street Station.

The mayor, Cr Ivan Deveson, said the design had grown on him. “When I first saw it, I was impressed, but not overwhelmed. The more I see it, the more I believe it will be a very compatible design, drawing attention to Melbourne.”

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