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Get Schooled On All Things Melbourne With This New Short-Form Docuseries

By Sophie Oddo
27th Jan 2021

A man stands atop a wall looking at the Melbourne city skyline at night.

Summer in Melbourne is a time to be savoured and celebrated. Which is why we can’t get enough of Fed Square’s Fed Summer, a jam-packed schedule filled with movies, music, live sport, fitness, workshops, and more.

As part of Fed Summer, a four-part docuseries unveiling the Fed Square story and its intriguing history is being released weekly until February 8. Discover the giant maze that hides beneath the Square, learn of the engineering marvels and architectural significance that’s made Fed Square one of the youngest heritage-listed sites in the world, and appreciate the vast heritage and unusual history that makes Fed Square anything but square. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the four-part series.

The Vaults

If you’ve been to Fed Square, you’d be familiar with their big screen and cobblestone plaza, the galleries and the museums, the restaurants, and the bars. But venture down a little further on the Yarra River levels and you’ll discover a special part of Melbourne’s history.

Named after one of the most important nineteenth-century bridges in Australia, Princes Bridge, the Princes Walk Vaults have a history as storied as the Square itself, as the literal foundation of Fed Square’s connection to the Yarra River. Discover the colourful history of these century-old vaults in the mini-documentary, here.

The Deck and Engineering 

Did you know that Fed Square was built on top of Melbourne’s busy railway network? Previously existing as Princes Bridge train station, the site was demolished in 1997 to make way for the largest expanse of railway decking ever built in Australia. 

Not only that, but the construction of the deck had to take place with minimal disruption to train services, which meant that most of the work had to be carried out in a small window (from midnight to 6am) and completely in the dark. Discover how this astronomical task was completed in the most difficult of circumstances in this intriguing second installment of the docuseries, here.

The Labyrinth

We love a good sustainability story, and Fed Square’s Labyrinth is just that. Hidden from view lies a vast underground maze that sits at the core of the Square’s sustainable focus and carbon-neutral status.  Remarkably, this design draws its inspiration from techniques as old as the Roman Empire with labyrinths having been used for centuries to control temperature by directing airflow through elaborate underground mazes. 

The Labyrinth in Fed Square consists of hundreds of concrete walls spaced barely 60cm apart, built to act as a passive heating and cooling system for Fed Square in what is called a ‘thermal mass labyrinth’. Taking cool air from the Yarra River to regulate temperature, this labyrinth sets the standard when it comes to sustainability. Releasing February 1, make sure to catch this informative mini-documentary that will dissect the underground secrets of Fed Square.

Architecture and Design

There’s no denying that Fed Square’s design is both intriguing and bold, becoming an iconic Melbourne destination. This short-form documentary will uncover the story behind its multidimensional design and it’s divided public opinion when it opened in October 2002.

Including an interview with one of the two original architects, Donald Bates, this episode will unpack the labour of love that was designing and creating what is now one of the youngest heritage-listed sites in the world. From intricate design details to inspirations from geometry, the final instalment of this docuseries releasing on 8 February will educate you on everything you never knew about this iconic space.


What: Fed Square Docuseries
When: Releasing each week until February 8
Where: Watch the series on their website, here.

Click here for more information on Fed Summer.

This article is sponsored by Fed Square and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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