Cook & Hawley

Competition organiser:
State Government Office of Major projects

Consultant Engineer:
Techniker Ltd., London

Designed: 1997

Gross Area:
Unroofed 13,000 m sq
Floor 24,000 m sq

Federation Square is essentially a metropolitan complex offering cultural, social and technical facilities under decks and roofs that act as a synthetic paradigm of the landscape and through which a natural park is woven. The synthetic geometry of the city, the historic importance, and the natural trajectory of the river are used to influence the physical figure of the development. The formal components are deliberately directional and large in scale as the complex essentially refers to the force and dynamic of the city. The complex is built along three edges: the north, facing the city; the east, facing the park and future development; and the south towards the river. It is only the western edge of the site that opens into the Plaza and is the focus for the scheme and the main point of entry. Both the linear imprint of the grid and the meandering line of the abstracted river act as a ground level guide to the significant points of entry. The surface of the major open space is made from blue flagstone, which makes reference to the adjacent city district; and the linear grid consists of concrete blocks filled with green strips of grass. Connections are made through a large ramped platform. This constructed landscape is conceived as an extension of the natural facility that exists offering tranquil sheltered space in the midst of a highly active urban development. The landscape-platform slowly descends to deck level and carries the sequence of planting into covered atria and gardens that thread throughout the galleries, shops and offices. The sequence of open landscape and sheltered gardens are seen as a continuum offering the grandeur and vistas of parkland and the tranquility of an enclosed garden.