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Apple Revises Plans for Contentious Federation Square Store in Australia

Apple today submitted revised blueprints for its planned Federation Square retail store location in Melbourne, Australia, according to the Federation Square website.

Apple first announced the new flagship store in December, set to be built at Federation Square, a shopping center, public square, and mixed-used space in the heart of Melbourne.

The new Federation Square design

The construction of the new store calls for the demolition of the well-known Yarra building, which has infuriated Melbourne residents and led to major protests suggesting the public space should not be given over to a corporation.

Melbourne's City Council in February backed a motion to lobby for a new store design due to both the backlash and the dissatisfaction with Apple's planned store design, which has been described as a "Pizza Hut pagoda."

Another angle of the new store design

The new design plan, created following a series of design workshops that included Federation Square Management, the Victorian Government, the Melbourne City Council, and Apple, features a building with a simpler, more streamlined look that better fits in with the Federation Square aesthetic.

The original Federation Square design proposed by Apple

The pagoda-style roof has been abandoned in favor of a flatter design that will house solar panels. The design offers 500 square meters of new public space, more outdoor shading, a better connection to the Yarra river, and plans for cultural events.

Apple's revamped design is part of a "broader reimagining" of Federation Square, which includes the new Digital Facade on the Transport Building and the new Melbourne Metro Train Station entrance.

According to Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe, the new store design is "consistent with Federations Square's Civic and Cultural Charter, which recognises Melbourne's pre-eminence as a centre for creativity and innovation." The Federation Square leadership expects the Apple Store to boost visitor numbers, bringing an additional two million people to Federation Square each year.

Current plans continue to call for the destruction of the Yarra building, so it's not clear if Melbourne residents will be satisfied with Apple's planned changes. At the very least, the new design is less intrusive, which could win acceptance from protestors.

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Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
I pulled our firm out of commercial a decade ago. I don't even know why anyone tries to build anything. Considering the process, and the opinioneering of every heehaw with a bored brain cell, it's unthinkable that civilization ever amounted to anything more than a collection of yurts on the steppe.

That said, it does look quite a lot like the Pizza Hut logo.
Rating: 8 Votes
13 weeks ago
There are angles. That's it. Hey let's try this!



There ya go Melbourne!

Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
So THIS is the Yarra Building that everybody in Melbourne wants to save?
Please, SOMEBODY tell me I'm wrong.

BTW, I LIKE the original Apple Store design - doesn't look like any Pizza Hut I'VE ever seen!

Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
Too many radical green protesters in Melbourne. So far as a public space, it's a barren wasteland and any offerings such as Apple, or any other will do a great deal to improve the area.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago
I’m glad people protested. The new design looks way better and to be honest much better suits Apple. I wonder who even approved that odd first design.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago
The original design is ugly - that's just me. I know people are going to say this and that, but everyone has a different taste :)
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago

So THIS is the Yarra Building that everybody in Melbourne wants to save?
Please, SOMEBODY tell me I'm wrong.

You’re not wrong. Fed Square is a public space where people sit to have lunch, plus it’s setup for outdoor film festivals and stuff.

It was built recently (2002) and there were hundreds of design proposals. Believe it or not that one won.

Yarra Building is one of several buildings surrounding the square that all have a similar exterior design. They’re mostly art galleries/etc.

Apple’s building will be a lot smaller than the one it replaces. They’re proposing to replace half the building with a grass park facing the river, which sounds a whole lot nicer than what it is now - pavement surrounded on all sides by tall buildings.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 weeks ago
The Pizza Hut Pagoda is abominable. Seriously Apple? You approved that?

As an ex-Melbourne resident in my view Fed Square is under-utilised and a wasted opportunity. It was never a harmonious design that respected the geography, river or city. Despite this, it's kind of endeared itself to locals because of its ugliness in a weird sort of way. I still think they should demolish the whole lot though.
Rating: 3 Votes
13 weeks ago
^ Melbourne citizen.

This whole story hasnt surprised me from day one. Melbourne is reallly careful about change. Having been awarded most livable city in the world like 6 years in a row - its really careful about its image.

I dont particularly like the Federation Square and didnt have a problem with the original Apple store design there. But its really nice to see Apple rise above all the BS and work with the council to make it happen.

Really excited about this one!!
Rating: 3 Votes
13 weeks ago

Melbourne is a beautiful city.


I’m an Australian, and when I visited Melbourne I was stunned to find an incredibly ugly city. Fed Square was like someone had thrown up a student’s building project, and the city was littered with some of the ugliest 70s buildings I’ve ever seen.

Fighting to preserve the look of Fed Square just seems crazy to me. It already looks terrible. That said, if the issue was about Apple affecting the culture of a place... that I can understand.
Rating: 3 Votes

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