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Victorian Heritage Register
Statement of Significance
What is significant?Federation Square, including footings and crash walls between the rail lines; decking over the rail lines; the passive air-conditioning system known as the Labyrinth; the catenary lighting system; landscape elements, including the paved Plaza incorporating the artwork Nearamnew, inscriptions in the bluestone steps and apron facing St Paul’s Court, planters and Yellow Gum trees (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. megalocarpa ‘Rosea’); and buildings (exteriors and some interiors, notably the NGVA interiors).
How is it significant?Federation Square is of historical, architectural, aesthetic, cultural and technical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Why is it significant?Federation Square is of historical significance as Victoria’s preeminent memorial to the Federation of Australia (1901). The principle of federation is embedded in the design and planning rationale for Federation Square. The precinct was conceived as an ensemble where no single entity or cultural institution was dominant, and where each component part would have its own identity within the ensemble. This aspiration is expressed in the facade treatments which are based on the ‘Conway Tessellation’, a single triangular element that can be applied in an infinite number of compositional sequences and at multiple scales to achieve variety (or difference) within a coherent whole. Federation is referenced in the Nearamnew artwork by Paul Carter which forms part of the Plaza, and inscriptions in the bluestone steps and apron facing St Paul’s Court. Federation Square is also of historical significance to Victoria as a tangible expression of Melbourne’s long and deeply held aspiration for a large public square for ceremonial, civic, and recreational purposes in the city. (Criterion A)
FEDERATION SQUARE - Permit ExemptionsCurrent works (2018-2019)
Maintenance, repair and replacement works throughout the Place
- Internal works associated with the SBS relocation (West Block, Alfred Deakin Building, Levels 2 and 3).
- Internal works associated with the ACMI refurbishment excluding works to theatres) (East Block, Alfred Deakin Building, Basements 1 and 2 and Ground Level Tenancies Nos 6, 7, 8 and 9).
- Internal works associated with the Koorie Heritage Trust relocation (Yarra building, Tenancy Nos 24A and 24C strip out and new fit out to Level 2, Alfred Deakin Building).
- Internal works associated with the Chocolate Buddha refurbishment (Alfred Deakin Building, West Block, Ground Level, Tenancy No 22).
- Internal works associated with the Beer Deluxe refurbishment (Atrium, Tenancy No 17; the Square, Tenancy No 23).
- Internal works associated with upgrades to the Atrium toilets.
- Routine cleaning and maintenance activities including repair of glazing and cladding where the fabric, design, size, form and method of fixing is repaired or replaced like-for-like.
- Repair and maintenance of hard landscaping, including paving and footpaths, where the fabric, design, size, form and method of fixing is repaired or replaced like-for-like.
- Maintenance and replacement of services such as plumbing, electrical cabling, surveillance systems, pipes or fire services, where replacement will not result in an increase in size, or a substantially new location.
- Installation, removal or replacement of garden-watering, fire and other services to the external areas, where replacement will not result in an increase in size, or a substantially new location.
- Repair and maintenance of existing lifts and escalators including mechanisms and associated elements.
- Repainting of previously painted surfaces (internal and external) in the same colour and quality of finish (not including the gallery and foyer of the Ian Potter Centre for which specific exemptions apply).
- Works or activities, including emergency stabilisation, necessary to secure safety where a structure or part of a structure has beenirreparably damaged or destabilised and poses a safety risk to it users or the public, provided no damage is caused to significant fabric
- Repair and maintenance to all existing promotional elements, including billboards and flagpoles.
- Repair and maintenance to areas of the carpark that fall within the extent of registration.
- Maintenance and replacement of existing roof-mounted plant on the Crossbar Building, and Alfred Deakin and NGV buildings, including solar panels and communications installations.
- Maintenance, retrofit and modification works to the deck support structure in order to facilitate continuing railway operations.
- All works within the service slot structures and other parts of the sub-structure which have been separated from railway operations and are managed as part of Federation Square.
Ian Potter Centre, NGV Building
- Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring in public areas is fully concealed.
- All non-structural works within concealed wall and roof cavities.
- Installation, removal or replacement of plant provided that its size, scale and location is consistent with any existing plant.
- Removal or replacement of carpets and/or flexible floor coverings.
- Removal or replacement of window furnishings such as blinds or curtains and associated hardware.
- Internal works to toilet and washroom spaces throughout.
- Internal works provided there is no impact on the exterior, except within the Ian Potter Centre (NGV Building), Atrium, Alfred Deakin Building and Deakin Edge
Atrium (Tenancies Nos 3B, 15, 16, 17, 32 and 3D)
- Internal works in NGV gift shop, cafe and back-of-house areas.
- Document displays, provided the works are reversible.
- Replacement of superseded technology to interior areas of the building, including LED signage panels and the like, provided the scale and configuration of the panel is retained.
- Temporary installation for six months or less, and subsequent removal of all structures and equipment required to stage an event or performance in any area, provided the installation methods are reversible.
- Activities associated with the installation of exhibitions in all gallery and foyer spaces provided they are reversible including: Reconfiguration of existing moveable walls and construction of new moveable walls; Installation of plinths, display cases, suspended works and works attached to walls and floors provided the methods of fixing are reversible; Lighting for exhibition purposes; Repainting existing painted gallery walls (excluding grey plastered walls).
Alfred Deakin Building (Tenancies Nos 6, 7, 8 and 9)
- Works to interiors of commercial tenancies, provided there is no impact on the exteriors, including the shared space of the Atrium.
- Internal works, excluding works to the main exhibition space entry stair, the central triple volume space at ground level and theatres, the lining of the walls and the pattern of coloured seating in the ACMI theatres provided there is no impact on the exteriors, including the shared space of the Atrium.
- Temporary installation and removal of all structures and equipment required to stage an event, provided the activities are reversible
- Works to back of house spaces including dressing rooms, green room and toilet areas.
- Internal works, excluding the main stair and stairwell, provided there is no impact on the exterior buildings.
- The process of gardening, mulching, removal or dead plants, disease and weed control, and pruning.
- Like for like replacement of Red Flowering Yellow Gums (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. megalocarpa 'Rosea') with advanced stock specimens of the same variety in the six planter beds within the central plaza.
- Replacement of plantings with matching species (excluding Red Flowering Yellow Gums).
- The removal or pruning of dead or dangerous trees to maintain safety and the management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard: Pruning of Amenity Trees AS 4373-1996. Note: The Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, must be notified of these works within seven days of commencement of works.
- Subsurface works involving the installation, removal or replacement of watering systems or services outside the canopy edge of significant trees in accordance with AS4970.
- Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard Protection of Trees on Development Sites AS 4970-2009.
- Removal of plants listed as noxious weeds in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
- Vegetation protection and management of possums and vermin.
- Non-structural alterations to roadways including River Terrace and Russell Street Extension.
- Maintenance and repair of bollards.
- To the extent that they are not already permitted by permit no P29470 works to the interior of the future Town Hall Metro station provided they are not visible from outside the station building and works below deck level associated with future rail services.
- Introduction of temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems to prevent unauthorised access or secure public safety for not more than 6 months provided that the works are reversible.
- Installation of temporary exhibits for not more than 6 months provided that the works are reversible.
- Placement, display and removal of signage within all parts of the Place which are not generally accessible to the public.
- Construction, placement, display and removal of signage in the nature of decals/vinyl film and temporary signage (small and large scale) for 6 months or less on internal and external facing areas provided the works are reversible.
- Construction, placement, display and removal of other signage in a publicly accessible area provided it is in accordance with a signage policy endorsed by the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria.