The Victorian government’s architectural competition to redesign Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street Station was always going to be popular with industry groups. Architects from around the world submitted their designs in what was slated to be a completely anonymous tendering process, with the final entrants’ completed works and the losing entrants’ concepts all to be revealed upon the announcement of the winning design.
In an architectural rebellion of sorts, however, a number of the competition’s participants have displayed their works both online and off with the Sibling Studio off Fitzroy Street now playing host to an estimated 30 non-shortlisted concepts.
As gathered by Skyscraper City, the following entrants have snubbed the official line and displayed their stunning new visions for Flinders Street Station:
- Andrew Burns Architect
- Steve Rose Architect
- Fraser Paxton Architects
- Gresley Abas
- Delia Teschendorff Architecture
- K20 Architecture
- Michael Smith (The Red and Black Architect)
Many have been shocked by the reveal, particularly for a design competition that has been adamant with regard to design and designer anonymity. In a report by Crikey’s Alan Davies, however, non-shortlisted design practice Mihaly Slocombe said that while the architects were not named, their works were easily recognisable.
“One juror confided to us that 80 per cent of all 117 entries were recognisable,” the firm says. “Such recognition went staunchly undiscussed, but we imagine it can’t have helped but nuanced the jury’s conversations and influenced their decisions. Thus it was without surprise that we accurately guessed four of the six shortlisted entrants.”
While there is industry debate over whether the designs are actually of a higher calibre or simply easily recognisable, the show of support on a design community level is overwhelming and puts the focus back on the practice of design rather than the hoopla that so often surrounds large-scale competitions and tendering processes.
The covert exhibition has been marked as a show of architectural strength in Melbourne, presenting an image of an industry sector that supports the efforts of their peers and celebrates design innovation, even if it is not critically recognised.
The competition features the following shortlisted candidates:
- Ashton Raggatt McDougall (Melbourne)
- John Wardle Architects + Grimshaw (Australia and UK)
- HASSELL + Herzog & de Meuron (Melbourne and Switzerland)
- NH Architecture (Melbourne)
- Eduardo Velasquez + Manuel Pineda + Santiago Medina (Columbia via University of Melbourne)
- Zaha Hadid Architecture & BVN Architecture (UK and Melbourne)