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Federation Square

Federation Square is in White Hat's opinion one of the most important architectural developments in Melbourne for a century, and has quickly become the "must visit first" attraction in Melbourne. Among the buildings to be found in Federation Square are the Ian Potter Centre (gallery of Australian art), the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the SBS studios and BMW Edge (a performance and exhibition space) ..

The Fed Square architects were faced with a particular challenge It is surrounded by a mish-mash of buildings - neo-Gothic, faux Turkish, blood & bandages ,etc. - while leading to the river on the other side. It has met those challenges with originality and flair.

Walk up Flinders Street from Elizabeth Street and you will see how Fed Square continues the height of Flinders Street Station creating a sense of continuity. Stand on the far side of the Yarra and you will see how the multi-coloured panels form an integrating base for the large variety of city buildings behind it. Walk down the alleys from Flinders Lane and see how they flow naturally across Flinders Street to the modern lanes and arcades on the other side. Stand on the beautiful Kimberley stone and see what warmth it adds to the city over the road. The space is designed for large and constant public events so grass would soon turn into mud or dust, but it is surrounded by the ample lawns of Birrarung Marr. Walk halfway down the stairs to the visitors centre and enjoy a newly created view of St Paul's Cathedral. Stand at various areas (both inside and out) and note how the structures and openings have been created to 'frame' certain buildings and vistas such as the cathedral and Government House. Note how the feelings of Melbourne's lanes and arcades are continued from the rigid rectangle and formality of the CBD but become more organic as they head towards the river, the park (Birrarung Marr) and the MCG. Note how the lighting is hung from a grid that reflects the overhead tram cabling. Feel how the slatted wooden walkways leading to the river reflect the launching areas of the boatsheds on the far side. Watch how the panels and paving reflect and amplify the changes in light and weather - a feature designed to make Melbourne's famous weather an interactive feature of the design. And watch over the months and years how the zinc panelling slowly oxidizes towards the bluestone hues of Melbourne. You will also notice how the interlocking triangles give a feeling of unity from the smallest to the largest level.

Kimberley stone at Federation SquareThe previous building on the site (the Gas and Fuel Building) was a tall brick biscuit box that blocked the view of the river and showed no sympathy with its surroundings. It was a building designed for bureaucrats and it looked like it. It has been replaced by a project that shows great sympathy with its surroundings and neighbouring buildings (which is more than they ever did for each other).

Some forthcoming events at Federation Square:

Morning Tai Chi session
Led by Tai Chi Australia

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Free Tour of Federation Square
Free Tour of Federation Square. No need to book, just turn up on time at the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags in the Swanston Street Forecourt.

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Melbourne Night Noodle Markets

The Night Noodle Markets are back, with all the sights, sounds and smells of an Asian hawker market plus the buzz, hype and vibe of an outdoor festival.

Times and other details at Melbourne Night Noodle Market.



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Moomba Fireworks

The annual Moomba Fireworks running over three nights.



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Fiesta Malaysia

Fiesta Malaysia is a day of celbration at Federation Square attracting over 20,000 people. It aims to  introduce the rich Malaysian history, people, language and culture to those who attend and to enhance the bilateral and multilateral relationship between Malaysia and Australia.In addition it aims to foster, support and promote business and investment opportunities between Malaysia and Australia To introduce Malaysia as a land of diverse races, religions, festivities and cultural heritage in line with the theme for Fiesta Malaysia 2016, ‘Sharing the Culture'. More information at Fiesta Malaysia.




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