Photographing Flinders Street Station

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In July 2016 I wrote about the features images I took of Flinders Street Station. These were for a contractor’s submission for the repair and refurbishment of the station. The contractor, Built Pty Ltd, was successful with their submission and has subsequently appointed me on behalf of Major Projects Victoria to take the progress photographs of the project.

Located on the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets and stretching a block and a half along Flinders Street, the station’s administration building is one of Melbourne’s 20th century icons.

When it was completed in 1910 after a construction period of 5 years, this was the first railway station in an Australian city and became the busiest in the world by the late 1920s (according to Wikipedia).

The building, designed by architects Fawcett and Ashworth as a result of winning a 1902 design competition, was more than a transit hub. It featured a ballroom, a gymnasium and a library and ‘under the clocks’ became THE meeting place for many a social occasion. Unfortunately the building has suffered from a lack of maintenance by successive state governments, with many of the amenities closing in the mid 1980s, such as the ballroom in 1985.

However in 2015 the current government announced a $100m investment in the repair and refurbishment of the building to bring it back to its former glory. This project has now commenced and the building has all but disappeared behind scaffolding and protective safety cladding. Hidden from general view, repair and refurbishment work will be carried out on the facade during the next nine months or so and internal structural repairs to spaces such as the ballroom, gymnasium and clock tower will be completed.

In order to ensure that this stage in the history of the building is properly recorded for future generations to look back on, the contract requires regular progressive photographs of the works to be taken. I am delighted to say that this responsibility has been vested in me for the next twelve months. The success of this will be as much down to the logistics of taking the before and after shots as the technical understanding of the building and its construction and, of course, being able to take photographs that will present the works in the best possible light.

The project sponsor is Major Projects Victoria and the managing contractor is Built Pty Ltd.

 

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