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  2003 AILA Victoria & Tasmania
Awards in Landscape Architecture

Flemings Nurseries
Major Partner

design awards

Victorian & Tasmanian Award in Landscape Architecture
Award for Design Excellence


Landscape Architect:
Lab + Bates Smart: Lab architecture studio in association with Bates Smart, Karres en Brands - landschapsarchitechten, Equinox Design Group, Paul Carter

Federation Square Management


Jury Comments

Melbourne has been searching for what could be perceived as "our city square". Previous locations have all focused on spaces within the city grid, with mixed successes. The project has shifted the centre of town and become the new civic centre for the city.

The rolling topography becomes an informal amphitheatre, the gathering space for protests and celebrations. The jury saw the strongest contribution of the scheme to be the plaza’s ‘built topography. The surface rises up in almost a geological manner providing a unique experience of the square, the surrounding architecture, the city and the spaces in between.

The seamless assimilation of public art in the stone pavement offers a further means of navigating the project. Dramatic use of lighting references the neighboring transport systems and the canteri lighting systems of backyards everywhere.

The “junk” usually associated with public space of this type has been successful located in the intense moments that also include the “handkerchiefs” of lawn and the tree plantings. The jury looks forward to the maturing for these trees and the accompanying shady nooks that will be provided. The design successfully provides incidental seating with the stairs and walls that are inserted in the undulating square.

The use of the multicoloured Kimberly stone, contributes greatly to the squares uniqueness with the unifying “fingerprint” pattern differentiating Federation Square from other comparable projects in Melbourne, with their ubiquitous use of bluestone.

Image Gallery
click to view full image

Entrance to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image     New Years Eve 2002, the plaza is designed to accommodate large crowds of up to 15,000 people.          View west across the plaza towards Flinders St Station     View north-east across the plaza     View from the intersection of Russell and Flinders Streets.

View into St Pauls Court from the plaza     General plan illustrating the built form and context of Federation Square, and the cobblestone whorl pattern of the plaza.     Plaza plan showing the whorl pattern created by different colours of cobblestones and dimensioned stone. It also shows the locations of the Nearamnew Artwork Pieces.     One of the nine pieces of Nearamnew artwork by Paul Carter. The grey shades refer to the various depths of sandblasting to reveal the text.     A completed piece of Nearamnew. The reflections highlight the range and depths of the inscriptions.     East-west section through Federation Square looking north. The section indicates the relationship between the Plaza and the railway lines.

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