A short lesson
Russell Degnan

The second complaint I have is the way it interfaces with the surrounds. It is a long, mostly dull walk up Flinders St. to the atrium. There are just a few shadowed entrances to ACMI, and a largely dull, monotonous, grey hammering at you with no relief from the elements, or the traffic. Nor is there any greenery.

That is what I said about Federation Square a year and a half ago, and very little has changed. Only now however, is it becoming apparent that it is a problem. Businesses on the Flinders St. side are failing, and comments like this are indicative of people with no idea.

"I never saw that side of Federation Square as a problem . . . I thought of it as almost the hidden gem of Federation Square,"

The image above shows the most grievous problem. The atrium should be acting as an entrance, but faces, what? Perhaps Hosier Lane, but you need to cross Flinders Street to get to it. Perhaps it faces nothing, as is the way of modern pieces of architectural genius. The bottom picture is of the intersection at Russell Street. Here, in a piece of mind-blowing stupidity there is only one pedestrian crossing across to Russell Street. On the far side away from Federation Square! Is anyone in their right mind going to cross three streets to get across from the Forum to Fed Square.

There is a tendency to assume that developers and businesses have no interest in the urban form, and need to be coerced into doing something about it. Well, this area, which is in every way anti-pedestrian is a good example of whay that is wrong. And if these new businesses want to succeed they would do well to consider the streetscape instead of how good it is being in a "landmark building".

Passing Fancy 28th August, 2005 11:49:56   [#]