Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett has announced that the Victorian Government’s design competition to restore Flinders Street Station precinct has entered its final phase with the six shortlisted contestants submitting their designs to be judged.

“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,” said former Premier Ted Baillieu upon launching the competition in November 2011.

“We also acknowledge the enormous challenges attached to this project, including the conservation of the station façade and heritage values and delivering this project while Flinders Street continues to operate and expand as Melbourne’s busiest railway station.”

The competition aims to return the station to its former glory and re-use under-utilised areas, restore and protect the station’s heritage, improve the transport function of the station to cater to future growth, create a significant civic space while allowing for a distinctive and memorable architectural outcome with a mix of uses, and better integrate the station with its surrounding precincts.

flinder street station design

Flinders St Station at dusk

The six finalists for the Flinders Street Station Design Competition, selected from 117 entries, include Melbourne-based Ashton Raggatt McDougall, John Wardle Architects + Grimshaw (from Melbourne and the UK), HASSELL + Herzog and de Meuron (from Melbourne and Switzerland), NH Architecture (from Melbourne), Eduardo Velasquez + Manuel Pineda + Santiago Medina (from Colombia via University of Melbourne), and Zaha Hadid Architecture & BVN Architecture (from the UK and Melbourne).

“The six shortlisted entries from both Australia and around the world have spent the last three months developing detailed plans for the station and are now ready to face the jury,” Hodgett said.

The jury will evaluate the proposals until next week and the public will be able to see the designs and choose their own favourite by voting in the People’s Choice Award, which will run from Tuesday, July 23 through Monday, August 5.

Though the Australian Institute of Architects does not allow the jury to take the People’s Choice vote into consideration, the information gathered will help to refine and develop the winning project, giving the public a unique opportunity to be involved in the competition.

flinder street station design

“Using an online system, voters will be encouraged to think about all aspects of each of the designs, and give a considered response in keeping with the holistic nature of the competition,” Hodgett explained.

“This is the culmination of over a year’s work for the competitors and I know people are as keen as I am to see the designs. It is going to be an exciting and probably controversial month as people have their say and debate the merits of the various designs.”

The winning design as selected by both the jury and People’s Choice voters will be announced on Thursday, August 8.