Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fed Square

(Thanks for this one Jess) Melbourne's Federation Square is as loved as it is hated. I like it, without being overboard about it.

I like the earthy pink tones and the undulations of the paving. Very fine for people fleet of foot, but not great for oldies or disabled. The interior is excellent and the contents varied and interesting. I love sitting in or just out of the Transport Bar and watching the world go by. One view is people and the passing parade of trams, another is the river its riverside walkway and then there is another position where you can watch Fed Square itself and the tall city buildings in the background.

Even its critics conceed Fed Square works well for large gatherings of people, be it rallies, stage performances, buskers or looking at a sporting event or similar on the big screen.

Before Fed Square it was a railway station at the base, the hated Princes Bridge Station, with a bare rooftop where naughty teenagers would gather in large mobs. This was roughly where the lower part is along with the information booth area. The information booth is a 'shard' and there were supposed to be two, but one was knocked back through public pressure as it would have blocked the view of St Pauls from the south. The architects still complain that not building the second shard ruined the design. I reckon building the one shard spoilt it.

As Jah Teh said, to the east a bit were the glorious brown brick Gas and Fuel buildings. As you can see in the picture, they really added something to the city and blended in to their surrounds beautifully. Their demolition is one of the few things I feel I can thank previous Premier Jeff Kennett for.

Pic is from Walking Melbourne, but it's original source is not known to me.


  1. Pfft, bring em back. I liked them.

  2. Coodabeen wannbe

  3. i used to have to catch the train from platforms 14, 15 and 16

    i loved those platforms

    overall though, i guess i'm a fan of fed square. there isn't much there that i like nor feel the need to visit, but i don't NOT like it

  4. Were the Gas and Fuel Towers really that big? I remember them as a fugly eyesore, but not dominating the landscape to the extent in that photo.
    I LOVE Fed Square - the blue-grey and pale terracotta colouring blends well with the rest of the cityscape, and the irregular, somewhat organic forms are a nice segue between the natural element of the Yarra and surrounding gardens, and the sharp angular forms of the city backdrop. It has certainly proved a v popular public gathering place, although I agree with you that it is not accessible for people who have difficulty walking.

  5. I think the same as you Altissima. I think there may be some dramatic license in the photo, or, it was taken just after they were finished and there were no other high rise buildings in Melbourne. Nah, it is an altered photo.