Federation Square is a cultural landmark for Melbourne and a civic hub.
It was built to serve the city as a central focal point and to provide a screen, both protecting and concealing the active railway lines that run through its heart.
Adjacent to Flinders Street Station and built above the Jolimont railway lines, the Square encompasses major cultural attractions, world-class events, tourism experiences and an exceptional array of restaurants, bars, specialty stores and a modern piazza – capable of accommodating 15,000 people.
Multiplex was brought into the project on a design and construct contract, to complete the comprehensive and complex works.
In order for the Square to be developed, initial works included the transformation of the Flinders Street Railway Yards. This had to be covered with a deck comprising 3000 tonnes of steel beams, 1.4 kilometres of concrete ‘crash walls’ and more than 4000 vibration-absorbing spring coils and rubber pads.
This 30,000m2 deck created the civic plaza and cultural centre, comprising the Museum of Australian Art, a cine-media centre, public atrium, galleries, restaurants and car parking facilities.
Federation Square serves as a connecting point between the CBD and the rapidly growing Southgate precinct and St Kilda Road Boulevard. All works were performed in limited construction windows while the rail lines remained operational. Acoustic isolation of the railway from the civic plaza and cultural centre constructed above was a challenging part of the project.
Visually, its signature facade offers an angular and triangular design that can be described as unique and unpredictable. The design utilises large panels and claddings of sandstone, zinc and glass. Since opening in 2002 more than eight million people have visited the site each year, positioning it as one of the top two tourist attractions in Melbourne.