The Fascinating Federation Square, Melbourne

Federation Square sits in the middle of Melbourne, inside the inner city, and includes two large public spaces within its clutches. There are two open squares known as St. Paul’s Court and The Square, as well as a covered space known as the Atrium. These spaces perch on a concrete deck that hovers above busy railway lines, offering the area an urban and industrial feel. But that also means it’s easy to get to – situated between Flinders Street and Swanston Street in the bustling and lively Central Business District, it is right next to Melbourne’s busiest railway station.

The History of Federation Square

Federation Square lies on the same spot that City Square did – Melbourne’s first public square which was masterminded back in 1968. At this time, the Melbourne City Council were planning a new initiative to connect up certain landmarks in the city and provide a multi-functional space for locals and tourists, but at first City Square was considered a complete failure. It was quickly put forward for redevelopment in the early 1990s, but even then many of its major design flaws weren’t addressed. It wasn’t until later on in the 90s that the Victorian State Government put forward new plans for a better and more functional square – and so Federation Square was born.

The Design of Federation Square

The square itself harbours a mix of old and new. Intricate architecture rubs shoulders with more modern offerings, including the metallic-clad shards that cut angular shapes against the sky. Throughout the square you’ll find a maze of laneways that weave in and out of the major landmarks and connect the square to the popular Flinders Street and the Yarra River, whilst the Atrium offers a five-storey high public space. Then there’s the Labyrinth, a passive cooling system with an unusual appearance – 1.2km of honeycombed walls latched together – which keeps the inside 12C cooler than the outside during summer months and 12C warmer in winter.

Attractions in Federation Square

Federation Square is home to a range of attractions that draw in visitors all year round. It promotes Melbourne’s unrivalled cultural scene, showcasing theatre performances overlooking the Yarra River at The Edge, contemporary art exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, concerts and events at Zinc, a premiere function space, and a seemingly endless supply of upmarket restaurants, bars, and cafes. It’s also the home of numerous festivals throughout the summer, which make use of the unusual space and its eclectic backdrop.

Visit Federation Square today on our Melbourne City Tour.

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