Category Archives: Infrastructure

Flinders Street – Lost & Found

This office’s unrealised project for the Air & Water towers (1977). We had considered dusting it off for the recent Flinders Street design competition.

The following piece by Frank Godsell was originally published in the September issue of the Critical Australian Review of Architectural Criticism (Australia).

When Elly – our eldest daughter – was seven, she disappeared into the bowels of Flinders Street station. I was not initially worried; our family has a cross-generational knack for spatial awareness; an unerring ability to locate ourselves whatever the terrain. Confident that she’d be able to orientate herself and fold herself back down to our schedule, I left the station and spent an hour or so at the National Gallery staring at the space where the Weeping Woman used to be.

But an hour passed, and Eleanor didn’t re-appear. (more…)

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SOMA Towers – Archive Material

The following is a guest editorial by prolific critic and reviewer, Simon Harrison – originally published in Critical Australian Review of Architectural Criticism (Australia).

One of the three proposed CBD towers – Courtesy of G&C + Wolfgang Sievers (1971)

…Yes. I agree. It is entirely possible that future generations will regard our actions with contempt. But, gentlemen, we need to steel ourselves against such fears. In the end, we must do what is required to maintain the Australian way of life, the safety of our cities and the prosperity and strength of our great nation. It may be monstrous, but it must be done!”

Lieutenant General Alexander Seddon, Transcript, Australian Commonwealth Police Wiretap. September, 1970


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The Refugee Family Unit (RFU)

The following article, written by architecture critic Simon Harrison, originally appeared in Architecture Review Asia Pacific issue 124: Architecture & The Body, published in March/April 2012. G&C’s design statement for the RFU’s can be found here.
Luna Park to be retrofitted as a refugee processing centre.

The day will come when rising sea levels will enable Australia-bound asylum seekers to sail right into the nightmarish maw of Melbourne’s Luna Park. Here, within the fortified bounds of the famed Scenic Railway, it is proposed they should acclimatise to urban life before being processed for integration into the Australian suburbs. Of course, unless you’re seeking asylum from New Zealand or Tasmania, Melbourne may seem an impractical entry point. Nevertheless, under a new refugee management proposal, there may be no other way in.


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The Circle City – Archive Material

Detail of concertina join and segment control tower

Somewhere, mouldering away in the State Government Archives, are row upon row of near-featureless filing cabinets, dating from the glory-days of the Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board. For the main, they contain little more than the dull minutiae of everyday, bureaucratic activity – minutes, missives, memos. But one cluster holds something dramatically different; thousands of tightly coiled wax paper documents.

It’s this latter collection that we really should be thankful for. While G&C’s local archives are prey to the exigencies of conversion – of transfer from blueprint to any number of mutually incompatible software formats, on any number of broken or compromised media – this collection preserves the original blueprints of the trams and systems that have colonised our city for the last century.


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The Melbourne Wall

Design Architect: Frank Godsell
Project Team: Patricia Corrigan & Frank Godsell

In response to the growing civil unrest sparked by the ‘Occupy Melbourne’ demonstrations, Godsell & Corrigan have been engaged by local government to create a wall that will ensure ongoing peace in the City of Melbourne. In these uncertain economic times and in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution, we feel a new kind of wall is required – a wall that not only divides, but one that inspires the city’s disenfranchised.

The proposed plan for the new Melbourne Wall

Indeed, the new Melbourne Wall will be a beautiful instrument of division within the urban landscape. Drawing influence from the masters of German Brick Expressionism, the Wall employs a decorative Flemish Bond to bring texture and life to the greyest corners of Melbourne.


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Circle-City Tram

Design Architect: Patricia Corrigan
Project Team: Frank Godsell & Patricia Corrigan

June, 1980. Melbourne’s city circle tunnel, grossly over-budget and years overdue, finally approaches completion. Sadly, this belated finish would also put paid to one of the city’s most novel additions to the public transport network.

Engineer's Specifications - Cortocelleli Partners, 1978

In late 1978, Godsell & Corrigan had been invited to design an interim tactic toward the provision of a ‘city-circle’ – a method of transport that would anticipate and formalize approaches for the slowly approaching city-loop. Their solution was – and remains – one of the strongest and simplest urban gestures to ever be employed at an infrastructural level; a 6 kilometre long interconnected chain of carriages, an endless, continuous tram encircling the city centre.


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