Apple's Planned Flagship Store in Melbourne, Australia Faces Backlash From City Council Over its Design

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In December, Apple announced its plans to open a new flagship retail location at the Federation Square shopping center in Melbourne, Australia in 2020. Since that announcement, many locals have come out against the store and the demolition of the existing Yarra building, arguing that the public space in Federation Square should stay that way and not be "given up" to a corporation.

    This week, Apple's planned store has faced new backlash in regards to its design, coming from the Melbourne City Council (via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). During a city council meeting on Tuesday it was reported that Apple's design proposal for the location was "overwhelmingly" rejected by the community through about 800 public submissions disliking the look of the store.


    Melbourne councillors then "unanimously backed" a motion to lobby the government for a new store design and public consultation on the project, and now await to see if the government will accept or reject its proposal. Councillor Nicholas Reece was said to have described the proposed store as a "Pizza Hut pagoda."
    Apple last month said the Federation Square location "respects the original vision for the plaza, with a bespoke design concept and extensive landscaping bringing increased opportunities for the community to enjoy this renowned cultural hub."

    Despite uniting against the design of the store, Melbourne councillors are reportedly divided regarding further commercial development in Federation Square. Councillor Reece mentioned "with the right design," Apple's appearance in the area "could be a good thing." As pointed out by ABC in December, before becoming favored by the community today, Federation Square itself was a "controversial piece of architecture" when it was first built in 2002, "with many people dismissing it as ugly and strange."

    Article Link: Apple's Planned Flagship Store in Melbourne, Australia Faces Backlash From City Council Over its Design
  2. Lilok macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2017
    Haha...yes, it does look like pizza hut xD
    I wouldn't want i either.
  3. Stella, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    From the picture, looks a bit out of place. Given that green / / open / park space - if accurate, I'm not surprised about people getting upset. Once open space has gone, its gone forever.
  4. Fender2112, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    Fender2112 macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    "Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria with a population of over 4.8 million which accounts for 19.05% of national population."

    800 dislikes out of 4.8 million people is not even close to "overwhelmingly". They must have nicer Pizza Huts in Australia than we have in the US.

    Here is what is there now:!2e10!7i8000!8i4000
  5. themuseboy macrumors member


    Jun 24, 2013
    Desert Hot Springs, CA
    I would suggest build it like the Apple store in New York City on 5th avenue. All underground with the glass cube as the entrance above ground. That NYC store is simple but elegant on the outside and immense on the inside. The glass cube would be a much closer fit with the design of the other buildings at Federation Square too.
  6. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Only, it’s cureently a public square opposite a train station and the river. The new building will replace an existing building and if I recall correctly, would actually have provided more space around the building than currently.

    I truly like Melbourne as a place and federation square is lovely, but the double standard right now is hilarious as a lot of the complaining is about a multinational corporation opening a store in a space that isn’t designed for that... well I guess they forgot about the 7-eleven that already exists in the square and looks a lot worse than an Apple store ever will!

    Maybe when they remove the convenience store I’ll rethink my stance on a company like Apple spending money to design a new building.

    That said, it could do with some work, some public consultation wouldn’t go amiss. But the public seems very misguided right now.

    Melbourne is a very ‘green’ as in politics city.

    I’m not certain, but the building next door might contain a gallery under the square already as it’s the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI). That would face an even bigger backlash if they were asked to move for Apple.
  7. iProfile Suspended


    Feb 11, 2017
    A pagoda? Maybe that’s what’s really bothering him.
  8. sinsin07 macrumors 68030

    Mar 28, 2009
    Is this the current building?

    Attached Files:

  9. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 6502a

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    I can think of multiple exceptions to this in the area I live, where old, run-down parts of town that have since been turned into city parks and green spaces. It may be less common where real estate values are high, but typically the green spaces in those areas are public property and couldn't be sold.

    That said, I see more Frank Lloyd Wright than I see Pizza Hut. Such is the life of an architect though!
  10. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I walk through Federation Square every day as I work in the city.

    Looking forward to providing up to date pictures for you guys as it progresses :)
  11. TheQuest89 macrumors member


    Jan 25, 2018
    Apple being architectural bullies, lmao. Just keep the same building shell, gut it out and retro fit for apple store sheep consumption.
  12. Music Ambulance macrumors member

    Music Ambulance

    Oct 31, 2008
    I live here and it’s well hated. There’s your answer.
  13. GrumpyMom macrumors 603


    Sep 11, 2014
    No offense intended to the people who live and work there, but that Google Maps view is not very flattering. The Apple proposal is odd looking but it does sort of fit right in with the prevailing color scheme and angular buildings already there. Hard to tell without seeing it in person.

    Lol...don’t mind me, though, I want to see a Renaissance Fair themed shopping plaza. :p
  14. filmantopia macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2010
    I think it looks very cool. People are notoriously conservative when introduced to something new in the concept stage, but quickly get used to things when they become a reality.
  15. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2014
    It does look more 70s modern than well today modern.
  16. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Really can't fault them. Apple has lot's of cool looking stores. This is not one of them. It looks dated and obtrusive for the environs. Go back to the drawing board.
  17. friednoodles macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2014
    Given how many people were horrified at Federation Square's current design when it was first proposed, and now everyone seemingly loves it and wants to stop them changing anything, could it not be that the people currently objecting to Foster and Partners' design for the new Apple store simply don't understand how it will look and fit into the square once it's actually built?

    The lead architect of Federation Square, Donald Bates, wrote a very interesting piece highlighting his support for the store design and why he thinks it's a suitable replacement for the existing building:

    He also notes that it's less obtrusive than the existing building and opens up the sight lines to the river:

    "The proposed building has a reduced footprint relative to the existing building and will expand the public space of the plaza. It will allow for a new relationship to emerge between the plaza and the river – one that we were never able to achieve within the budget limitations of the original competition."

    The entire last paragraph of his article is worth quoting, but rather than do that and create a wall of text here, I'd recommend going and reading the page instead - it's an interesting read!
  18. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    I've been in Melbourne a couple of times but last time was too long ago, what I remember from Melbourne was there were plenty of old buildings, if that's the case then why not have a store similar like the ones below.



  19. smacrumon, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    Actually, you need to do a little more research, the 800 written submissions were 1) made within very short 72 hour period, 2) a record for the Council. The submissions are extremely overwhelming when put in the context. (Simply quoting a population and using that as a comparison missed the point.)

    Combined with more than 75000 petitions against, this one Apple store that is NOT acceptable on both the DESIGN and LOCATION. Both the DESIGN and LOCATION are terrible.

    Apple is not welcome at Federation Square according to the people in Melbourne. There are many other retail locations Apple can consider instead.

    I think Apple needs to determine whether it wants to fight a city or realize it's not welcome at that particular location and find another place in a different area altogether.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---
    Apple has decided it now wants to appropriate and take over public spaces in various countries instead of staying put in retail locations. Like malware, Apple seeks to infect public areas. It's a very bad look for a company I half respect.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---
    The trouble is this is public cultural space that Apple wants to set up in. It's not retail space. The area in which Apple wants to set up is not the right area. So even a glass cube is not acceptable to the people there in Melbourne.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---
    It's completely different. 7 Eleven, is commercial, and offers food and beverages, true. But moving an Apple store in, completely corporatises the space with little to no added value.

    FYI, here is an image of 7 eleven. It's completely discrete and fits within the original architecture. The Apple store is a complete monstrosity in comparison

    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---
    It's not happening in Federation Square. Demolishing a cultural building that houses an Aboriginal community group. The people there have banded together to stop it. You'll have to take photos of it somewhere else in the city.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---
    It's a very poor read. The article Don Bates has written that you link to is very luke warm and not convincing anybody.

    Actually, Don Bates 5 years earlier was talking up the success of the Square! From 20 seconds:

    --- Post Merged, Feb 6, 2018 ---
    It is an interesting design, but the LOCATION is what is wrong here. The location is not acceptable to the people there in Australia Melbourne not the design per se.
  20. CarlJ, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
  21. jdiamond, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    jdiamond macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2008
    I have to admit, part of the issue here *IS* Apple's design. I would vote to request a new design, strictly on the grounds that I sure wouldn't want Apple to put stores that look like this in the US. Come on, Apple. What happened to your design aesthetic? I'm appreciating the "glass cube" more all the time. :)

    Ok, fine, I'm starting to get more used to it now - especially if the brass hat rim is actually made of some supernatural, exotic material never before used in a building. But seriously, I agree with the posts that say surely Apple can design something better. Maybe for inspiration, they could start with photos of existing Apple stores and pick out the coolest ones for initial ideas. It will be interesting to see where they put the 40+ foot television in a building where all 4 walls are glass.
  22. mossme89 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    Am I the only one who doesn't care how buildings look as long as they are useful?
  23. CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    The examples you give are all Apple Stores built into small parts of large existing buildings, thus they follow the design of the existing building. This is a case where Apple is building a new free-standing building. It follows the style of many of their other recent free-standing stores (along with parts of their new campus). And judging from the google maps 360 view that Fender2112 posted, if they built a building that looked like any of your examples, it would look nearly as out of place in the plaza as Apple's proposed building.
  24. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind

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