Frankston Station Precinct Competition

We conceptualise Frankston Central as a linear public space echoing that most iconic of Australian public spaces – the beach – where people connect along its length and across the thin stretch of common ground that sits between city and surf. Whilst Frankston is reknown for its beach, the station precinct sits at the intersection of a potentially rich urban fabric, knitting together parallel and perpendicular connections between the town’s cultural landscapes and the beach itself. The success of the station precinct is as much in an iconic building as it is in the station’s capacity to reinforce outward connections to cultural, recreational and commercial networks and make legible Frankston’s structure and place.

For us, the principal issue facing the masterplan and the station precinct is its capacity to establish tendrils outwards that support diverse cultural practices and encourage interaction with the city, beyond journey between beach and station. Frankston has the potential for a strong, rich urban lifestyle that echoes Melbourne’s envious position as Australia’s capital of urban chic. Our proposal suggest a number of strategies that could be implemented at the city scale beyond that of a ‘masterplan’, as well as suggesting the beginning moves of a station design that could produce a renewed interest in the potentials of Frankston’s urban fabric by sitting at the centre of a broader network of art interventions and pocket landscapes.

Arriving by train and the walk to the beach form part of the memory, identity and structure of the sea-side towns. Recurring patterns of parallel and perpendicular bands define a particular and identifable urban structure: parallel spaces connecting non-beach focused recreational and cultural places, while perpendicular boulevards and retail strips connect the beach and the station – we’ve identifed this structure in Frankston, Brighton (UK), Manly (AU), Bondi (AU), Cannes (FRA) among others.

To reinforce cultural connection throughout Frankson, and particularly to assist in wayfinding between key cultural elements of the city, we propose the establishment of a network of art objects at important nodes, and as wayfinding devices through the key axes of the city. These could be sculptures, grafitti art or applied to ‘blank-walls’ in the urban environment. Taking inspiration from Brighton (UK) where the beach-side satelitte city has established a strong, unique artistic identity through art programs, we suggest that Frankston could encourage the exploration of its unique identity through a programme that extends through its principal urban centres. The program is essentially infinitely expandable – new ‘moments’ being introduced as and when required to create new links between parts of the city.