Next stop Flagstaff Station

Flagstaff Station is an underground city circle station situated in the city of Melbourne. The station is an oddity as it operates during weekdays and is closed most weekends. Like its fellow city circle stations Flagstaff Station was designed between 1979 and 1981 by Melbourne based architects — Stephenson and Turner.

The interiors and fittings are a wonderful and intact sample of the design movement circa early 1980s. The lines are organic, informed by an off white and contrasted with ribbed mid tone brown pressed metal panels with flashes of stainless steel. The finishes and fittings are modular like, clunky yet elegant, man made.

The signing is one of the facilities great features (from a communication viewpoint), the design is bold, prominent yet restrained and spare. The system has a refreshing lack of the presence of its designer, as compared with many samples of contemporary design. The forms and objects are functional and simple, the colour palette is limited (probably due to budget and available technology). There is little line work, no multiple colour panels, a small selection of point sizes and typeface weights are on offer and there is a refreshing lack of branding. A rigor is present with the few elements available, the system is prominent and compliments the architecture.

As the station approaches its forth decade, it stands as a great example of public architecture and signing that predates focus groups, branding hype and vinyl lettering. It is clear that the operation of modern stations has superceded the functionality of facility. Ticketing booths, timetable displays and ticket collection areas are redundant. Traffic flow and paths have shifted. In the wake of these changes additions have popped up that pay little or no homage to the design.

Let‘s hope the Station‘s design integrity wards of the lure of last minute quick fixes by paying lip service to the notion modernisation. Many such spaces are facing the temptation of transforming public space into a retail and advertising opportunity. The space has been detailed to last. The lack of retail and advertising and abundance of open spaces is welcome. It gives citizens a chance to experience a cross section of people. The generous space allows passers-by to enjoy the energy of peak times and the tranquility of chancing upon off peak times.

Flagstaff Station and a new City of Melbourne gallery or cultural space is a possibly for modernisation. Visit a Spout tram stop, The Hague, Holland for details.















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  1. Anonymous October 26th, 2009 7:17 pm

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    Flinders Street Station Platfom 5