New state government dismisses design contest winner as expensive ‘colouring-in competition’

A Herzog & de Meuron-designed scheme to redevelop Melbourne’s busiest train station is reportedly heading for the buffers.

The Swiss practice won a 2013 design competition to redevelop the city’s Flinders Street Station, alongside UK architect Purcell and Australian architect Hassell.

But the newly-appointed Labor state government in Victoria this month slammed the £1bn planned scheme – conceived by the previous centre-right administration – as a “colouring-in competition at taxpayers’ expense”.

State treasurer Tim Pallas told broadcaster ABC a decision had yet to be made on the project, but added: “It would be an inordinate burden upon taxpayers”.

Herzog and Purcell declined to comment. Victoria and Hassell have been contacted for comment.