It comes as no surprise that architects would jump at the chance to redevelop one of Melbourne’s most iconic architectural projects – Flinders Street Station.
What may be surprising is the international attention and interest this redevelopment competition has drawn.
The competition, which has been held in order to ‘breathe new life into a Melbourne landmark’ holds a prize pool of $1 million to the winning design.
Upon the competition’s announcement, Premier Ted Baillieu called upon both national and international architects and architecture firms to take up the challenge of rehabilitating a Melbourne icon.
“This precinct calls for creative brilliance from across the globe so a Melbourne landmark site can be restored to its full potential,” said the Premier. “This competition will harness the very best ideas and help bring the precinct back to life.”
Baillieu’s call has most certainly been answered.
While the full extent of the registrations cannot be revealed, Minister for Major Projects Dr. Denis Napthine has said the response to the competition has been incredibly positive.
“Between the opening of registrations on 29 June and 17 July, the Flinders Street Station Design Competition web page has had more than 31,000 page views,” Napthine says. “The competition Design Brief has been downloaded nearly 3,000 times while more than 1,300 people have downloaded the registration form.”
Napthine explains that while the majority of site visits have come from national users, 601 were from the US, 424 from the UK, 180 from Spain, 161 from Germany and 136 from Italy, with France, China, Canada and Poland viewing the sites 122, 109, 97 and 95 times respectively. He explains that this kind of interest is a clear indication of the competition’s international appeal.
“The bulk of visits are from within Australia where the building has the most interest, but we can assume that most of the people visiting from overseas are doing so because they are considering entering the competition,” says Napthine. “Our aim was to run a competition with international appeal and I think on the basis of these statistics we can say we are well on our way to achieving that goal.”
With the registration for the competition closing on August 1 and its stage 1 submission September 20 date looming, those wishing to throw their hats into the ring for this obviously internationally popular competition will need to do so quickly.