ABC News Australia noted back in a 2017 report that in-part a statement from Melbourne’s City Council stated that they were thrilled that Apple had chosen Melbourne and Federation Square for their new Global Flagship Store. We look forward to welcoming them as we continue to grow Federation Square as an innovative and exciting place for our community.
It now appears that the City Council being thrilled was short lived and turned on a dime when a massive backlash to the design and Apple’s presence in Federation Square by a vocal part of Australia’s citizenry. The protests forced Apple to submit a new store design to appease the very same city council that was “thrilled” intially at Apple’s first proposal.
The matter soured again this week when Australia’s news site The Age posted a report titled “Apple Fed Square upgrade fails to impress planners at city council.” The new Apple Store design is presented in our cover graphic and a few images further below.
After Apple’s original plans – dubbed a “pizza hut pagoda” by some – angered many Melburnians both for their design and the lack of consultation, the state government and Apple redrew their proposal.
The Age reported that “The new designs were released last month. Now, a Melbourne City Council officer’s report raises a number of concerns about them.
They include issues that officers note as ‘significant,’ including that the new, updated design causes a ‘loss of definition to the square.’
The report also raises concern over the new store being entirely dedicated to Apple, with ‘no supporting food and beverage offer to enliven adjacent spaces around the edge of the square.’
There is also issue taken with the impact of the new Apple store on the neighboring Deakin Edge building, and the way in which the technology company’s sales hub badly affects ‘residual public spaces around the building with limited utility.’
The city council’s chair of planning, Nicholas Reece, said the new designs for the Apple building were a significant improvement on the ‘eyesore’ released last year.
He said he would have preferred that Apple instead remodel the existing Yarra building rather than knock it down.
Although he said the new building design in some ways improved Federation Square’s spaces, “particularly on the river side.”
Councillors will vote next week on whether to support the new Apple plan, which will ultimately be decided on by Planning Minister Richard Wynne.” You could read more about this story here.
Apple’s Second Store Design
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE
Melbourne’s Public Backlash Against the Apple Store
There are a lot of protesters and purists that don’t want Apple in Federation Square regardless of the design. On the “OurCityOurSquare” twitter site you could see the anger from protesters with one participant (Tim Richards) stating: “Apple should piss off from Fed Square. Find somewhere else.”
A more formal protest is being conducted by the National Trust’s Victoria Branch who nominated Federation Square for Heritage protection after Apple’s proposed store was announced. A court order was granted in late August to stop any construction on the site including an Apple Store.
Tweet #1 Video: Court Order to Stop Apple Store Construction
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) August 23, 2018
Tweet #2 Video: Stop Apple Protest + Melbourne’s Tourist Minister says they’ll vote for the new Apple Store
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) April 30, 2018
Melbourne’s Tourist Minister John Eren is hopeful that City Council will vote for the new Apple Store knowing that a negative vote would be a big win for Sydney.
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