frankston COMMONS 

Design Competition _ Frankston VIC. Australia _ Design Completed 2016

Inspired by the ‘Reimagining the Civic Commons’ programme initiated in the US in 2014, our competition entry for the Frankston Train Station redevelopment sought to connect and re-tune, via a series of architectural, urban design and landscape interventions, Frankston’s disparate civic assets. 

 The train station itself was reimagined as a continuous landscape ribbon, restoring indigenous vegetation to the precinct by metaphorically stretching surrounding parkland and the green rail corridor onto the site.   Peaks in the ribbon would accommodate station facilities, bike parking, café’s, place specific retail, sun/rain shelters and the like.  Valleys would ensure that the station building is visually permeable, facilitating passive surveillance and community inclusion.  The northern faces of the landscape ribbon would accommodate solar panels.  Green roofs were proposed to mitigate storm water run-off and increase bio-diversity; they were also proposed to combat Frankston’s guano problem, taking advantage of the exceptionally effective natural fertilizer supplied by local seagulls!

Our proposal extended beyond the confines of the station site in order to demonstrate the potential of the Civic Commons initiative. 

 Surrounding STREETS would become PLACES, supporting urban interventions that could draw upon the culture, activities and landmarks of the city.  Carparks and UNDERUTILISED LAND would be transformed into ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIVE AND ENGAGING PRECINCTS that would not only inject a critical mass of people into the station precinct, but better reflect the core values of the Frankston community.  RETAIL STRIPS would be activated in order to better engage with the PUBLIC REALM, and SCHOOLS, such as the Chisholm Institute, would utilise land and facilities within the station precinct to become VIBRANT COMMUNITY HUBS, where the innovation and discoveries created within would be shared with the local community in an informal and socially inclusive way. 

 “When civic assets push their programming and resources beyond their usual boundaries whilst simultaneously pulling in the offerings of other institutions, they generate new opportunities and energise their neighbourhoods.” (Studio Gang, Civic Commons, 2014).  Activated as a single network, Frankston’s unified civic assets would pulse with a renewed energy that would radiate into the neighbourhood, fostering social connectivity whilst creating new and exciting spaces, activities and experiences. 



BENT Team:
Paul Porjazoski, Merran Porjazoski, Joanna Butler, Rob Chittleborough, Lana Blazanin, Michael Germano, Zephyr Huang