Apple's proposed Australian flagship store faces public opposition, called 'Pizza Hut pago...

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Apple is facing a rare adverse reaction to the design of a proposed global flagship store in Australia, with the Melbourne City Council on Tuesday voting to lobby the government and Apple for a new aesthetic.




The city council has received some 800 submissions from the community rejecting Apple's Federation Square design, reports ABC News.

Apple's store has caused a rift in local sentiment since its plans were revealed in December. While some embrace the bold architectural statement, others have called for a less grandiose vision that complements surrounding buildings.

Ironically, when Apple took the wraps off the Federal Square outlet last year, SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts touted the design's adherence to existing structures on the mall.

"Apple Federation Square 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," Ahrendts said at the time.

If and when it's constructed, the store will be the first retail outlet at the complex and was made possible through a partnership with Federation Square and the Victorian government. Apple's plans include the addition of 500 square meters of new public space and new landscaping that increases greenery while creating space for passersby to meet and relax.

When Apple first announced plans for the store, some onlookers quipped the company was courting controversy by selecting Federal Square as its build site. The space with its museums, art galleries and eateries is widely recognized as one of the most important cultural hubs in Melbourne.

Council members unanimously backed Greens party councilor Rohan Leppert in a motion to lobby the government for a redesign that would include public input. If the motion fails, the council intends to take the matter to Upper House MPs who have the power to quash Apple's proposal.

Though council members are split on opening Federation Square to commercial development, some, like Nicholas Reece, believe Apple's presence could benefit the area. That statement of support comes with a caveat that the store be "done in the right way." In other words, the current design doesn't cut it.

"It reminds me of a Pizza Hut pagoda and I just think it's like something that's rolled off an Apple Store production line," Reece said.

Whether the motion will be successful remains to be seen, as lead architects for both Federation Square and the Victorian government were involved in project planning and endorsed the proposed design prior to its announcement.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    Australian banter is quite well renowned. As for the building design itself, what function is served by the pagoda wings? Why couldn’t the same function be done with traditional Australian architecture?
    repressthiswatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 2 of 43
    Seems they’re trying to keep the clear glass walls and yet be protected from the sun by shading with the overhangs. 

    As right now? The temperature is reportedly 99f at 6 P. M. 
    edited February 7 williamlondonstanthemanMacProredgeminipapatchythepiratejbdragonlostkiwirepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 43
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,150member
    Australian banter is quite well renowned. As for the building design itself, what function is served by the pagoda wings? Why couldn’t the same function be done with traditional Australian architecture?
    My first guess would be so the people inside the building won’t be  blinded by the sun. 
    williamlondonredgeminipajahbladejbdragonlostkiwirepressthisStrangeDayslolliverjony0
  • Reply 4 of 43
     The building behind it looks like it was ripped out of the 1980s, and they are complaining about Apple’s design? 
    danhfotoformatmike1georgie01redgeminipajahbladeretrogustoracerhomie3christopher126jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 43
    It’s a darned sight nicer than the Samsung store...

     https://www.google.com/search?q=samsung+melbourne+central&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#trex=m_t:lcl_akp,rc_f:nav,rc_ludocids:4233960894945329522,rc_q:Samsung%2520Melbourne%2520Central,ru_q:Samsung%2520Melbourne%2520Central

    Google Samsung Melbourne Central and then click on the picture below the blue box to see the mall store
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 43
    I work around 500 meters away from the site, and was actually there today.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Australian banter is quite well renowned. As for the building design itself, what function is served by the pagoda wings? Why couldn’t the same function be done with traditional Australian architecture?
    My first guess would be so the people inside the building won’t be  blinded by the sun. 
    Honestly, some protection from the summer sun might be helpful, but the design is completely out of touch with the area. Granted, even when Federation Square was built, it was an odd architecture. This however doesn’t event suit that. I’m not sure what Angela Ahrendts was smoking when she said it was in keeping with the area...

    To be honest, an Apple Store in the city centre is long overdue. But the public sentiment is very strong against this. This is a civic space and Apple is seen by the majority here as the antithesis of that. I can’t see a Union Square “Town Centre” store working here. There are plenty of better places for this store. Burke Street comes to mind...

    This isn’t to say that I dislike the idea of an Apple Store. Would help me out a lot. But this placement and design is a bad decision by a company that doesn’t understand the culture here and that this is really a slap in the face to Victorians.
    edited February 7 djsherlystanthemanmdriftmeyerlostkiwirepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 43
     The building behind it looks like it was ripped out of the 1980s, and they are complaining about Apple’s design? 
    I agree... and a majority of council members must have approved those enormous ugly dishes on the roof! Phtt!
    williamlondonretrogustorepressthislolliver
  • Reply 8 of 43
    pg4g0001 said:
    I work around 500 meters away from the site, and was actually there today.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Australian banter is quite well renowned. As for the building design itself, what function is served by the pagoda wings? Why couldn’t the same function be done with traditional Australian architecture?
    My first guess would be so the people inside the building won’t be  blinded by the sun. 
    Honestly, some protection from the summer sun might be helpful, but the design is completely out of touch with the area. Granted, even when Federation Square was built, it was an odd architecture. This however doesn’t event suit that. I’m not sure what Angela Ahrendts was smoking when she said it was in keeping with the area...

    To be honest, an Apple Store in the city centre is long overdue. But the public sentiment is very strong against this. This is a civic space and Apple is seen by the majority here as the antithesis of that. I can’t see a Union Square “Town Centre” store working here. There are plenty of better places for this store. Burke Street comes to mind...

    This isn’t to say that I dislike the idea of an Apple Store. Would help me out a lot. But this placement and design is a bad decision by a company that doesn’t understand the culture here and that this is really a slap in the face to Victorians.
    Apple really has been quite tone deaf on this one and misread how the local community feels about Federation Square.

    With luck it will get shut down, during due process and they will need to look at other locations.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    No comment.  I hate malls...

    Making me walk past a bunch of stores that I have no interest in, to get where I need to go, is a waste of my time.

    They probably also have parallel parking... shudder.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 43
    Yeah, just cede the space to Seven 11. 24 hour slurpies!

    And whoever has those giant dishes on the roof of that cube. Quite iconic. 
    jbdragonrepressthis
  • Reply 11 of 43
    steveausteveau Posts: 147member
    No comment.  I hate malls...

    Making me walk past a bunch of stores that I have no interest in, to get where I need to go, is a waste of my time.

    They probably also have parallel parking... shudder.
    The site isn't in a mall, its in a public "square". It's not actually square (not even a rounded rectangle - RIP Steve Jobs), but that's modern architecture for you. However, it is fronted by galleries and restaurants and currently has no shops, so that's really the big issue for Melbournites, not the architecture. As to parking, there's a parking station on the other side of the art gallery from the proposed Apple store location, but very few people will drive there, Melbourne is a very walkable city, the main rail station is a 1 minute walk away and there are about a dozen tram routes all operating at a couple of minutes frequency along both frontage roads.
    williamlondongatorguypatchythepiraterepressthis
  • Reply 12 of 43
    Wait we're talking Melbourne yes? The very same city that chopped down the inside row of a fully mature double row of the greatest stand of English Elms in the world, in order to accomodate a Grand Prix racing track in Albert Park. Federation square itself is a fucking eyesore, the Apple store looks good. 
    williamlondonnoelospatchythepiratelostkiwirepressthisStrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,150member
    pg4g0001 said:
    I work around 500 meters away from the site, and was actually there today.

    Rayz2016 said:
    Australian banter is quite well renowned. As for the building design itself, what function is served by the pagoda wings? Why couldn’t the same function be done with traditional Australian architecture?
    My first guess would be so the people inside the building won’t be  blinded by the sun. 
    Honestly, some protection from the summer sun might be helpful, but the design is completely out of touch with the area. Granted, even when Federation Square was built, it was an odd architecture. This however doesn’t event suit that. I’m not sure what Angela Ahrendts was smoking when she said it was in keeping with the area...

    To be honest, an Apple Store in the city centre is long overdue. But the public sentiment is very strong against this. This is a civic space and Apple is seen by the majority here as the antithesis of that. I can’t see a Union Square “Town Centre” store working here. There are plenty of better places for this store. Burke Street comes to mind...

    This isn’t to say that I dislike the idea of an Apple Store. Would help me out a lot. But this placement and design is a bad decision by a company that doesn’t understand the culture here and that this is really a slap in the face to Victorians.
    So the store design in itself isn’t the problem. The problem is that Apple is building a store at all. 

    It certainly isn’t my favourite Apple store design, but where you think protection from the sun might be “helpful”, I think it should be a major design concern. 
    StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Rayz2016 said:
    pg4g0001 said:
    I work around 500 meters away from the site, and was actually there today.

    Honestly, some protection from the summer sun might be helpful, but the design is completely out of touch with the area. Granted, even when Federation Square was built, it was an odd architecture. This however doesn’t event suit that. I’m not sure what Angela Ahrendts was smoking when she said it was in keeping with the area...

    To be honest, an Apple Store in the city centre is long overdue. But the public sentiment is very strong against this. This is a civic space and Apple is seen by the majority here as the antithesis of that. I can’t see a Union Square “Town Centre” store working here. There are plenty of better places for this store. Burke Street comes to mind...

    This isn’t to say that I dislike the idea of an Apple Store. Would help me out a lot. But this placement and design is a bad decision by a company that doesn’t understand the culture here and that this is really a slap in the face to Victorians.
    So the store design in itself isn’t the problem. The problem is that Apple is building a store at all. 

    It certainly isn’t my favourite Apple store design, but where you think protection from the sun might be “helpful”, I think it should be a major design concern. 

    There are 2 issues at play here.
    1. It’s a completely inappropriate place to put a retail store. I’d compare it to Apple setting up a megastore in the centre of Central Park, New York. It’s a public setting Apple is appropriating for their corporate use.
    2. If you have to put it there, at least make it fit in, which it doesn’t.

    I’m sure they can find ways to deal with the heat that doesn’t look like an inverted Pizza Hut... like everyone else in Australia seems more than capabale or doing...
    mattinozwilliamlondongatorguy
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Seems like a few issues at play:

    • A lot of opinions being thrown around over nothing more than a rendering (a pretty noisy/ugly one too I might add - seems rather unimaginative considering Apple's other architectural pursuits.)
    • The community misdirecting their anger to Apple, when they should focus on why their government is offering the space to a corporate to begin with, and that they're also willing to demolish a building to get it there. At the same time I can see why they dodged public consultation - it destroys vision and produces mediocre spaces.
    • Finally, it's an opportunity for political football; whereby opposition will always spin an anti-everything sentiment, public spaces are inevitable, low hanging fruit.

    As for Fed Square - it's overrated. An insecure manifestation of me-too aesthetics appropriated from European cities, all while sidelining its own heritage.

    georgie01lostkiwiStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 43
    Seems like a few issues at play:

    • A lot of opinions being thrown around over nothing more than a rendering (a pretty noisy/ugly one too I might add - seems rather unimaginative considering Apple's other architectural pursuits.)
    • The community misdirecting their anger to Apple, when they should focus on why their government is offering the space to a corporate to begin with, and that they're also willing to demolish a building to get it there. At the same time I can see why they dodged public consultation - it destroys vision and produces mediocre spaces.
    • Finally, it's an opportunity for political football; whereby opposition will always spin an anti-everything sentiment, public spaces are inevitable, low hanging fruit.

    As for Fed Square - it's overrated. An insecure manifestation of me-too aesthetics appropriated from European cities, all while sidelining its own heritage.

    It's not in keeping with the Fed Square aesthetic or intent for that matter. Putting an apple store there (or any other store) is going to generate a lot of opposition. As an occasional visitor to Melbourne, any retail there is going to stick out like dog's balls.

    To quote:

    "Apple Federation Square 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," Ahrendts said at the time.

    The whole place is hard surfaces and concrete, not sure what "landscaping" will be brought to bear. "bespoke" means custom. 

    Translated:

    "we are going our own way with this"
  • Reply 17 of 43
    It looks butt ugly. The kind of thing Samsung might do. Not remotely Apple-worthy. 

    I am with the locals on this one. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 18 of 43
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,345member
    pg4g0001 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    pg4g0001 said:
    I work around 500 meters away from the site, and was actually there today.

    Honestly, some protection from the summer sun might be helpful, but the design is completely out of touch with the area. Granted, even when Federation Square was built, it was an odd architecture. This however doesn’t event suit that. I’m not sure what Angela Ahrendts was smoking when she said it was in keeping with the area...

    To be honest, an Apple Store in the city centre is long overdue. But the public sentiment is very strong against this. This is a civic space and Apple is seen by the majority here as the antithesis of that. I can’t see a Union Square “Town Centre” store working here. There are plenty of better places for this store. Burke Street comes to mind...

    This isn’t to say that I dislike the idea of an Apple Store. Would help me out a lot. But this placement and design is a bad decision by a company that doesn’t understand the culture here and that this is really a slap in the face to Victorians.
    So the store design in itself isn’t the problem. The problem is that Apple is building a store at all. 

    It certainly isn’t my favourite Apple store design, but where you think protection from the sun might be “helpful”, I think it should be a major design concern. 

    There are 2 issues at play here.
    1. It’s a completely inappropriate place to put a retail store. I’d compare it to Apple setting up a megastore in the centre of Central Park, New York. It’s a public setting Apple is appropriating for their corporate use.
    2. If you have to put it there, at least make it fit in, which it doesn’t.

    I’m sure they can find ways to deal with the heat that doesn’t look like an inverted Pizza Hut... like everyone else in Australia seems more than capabale or doing...
    How does it not fit in, Google street view tells me it's not exactly some an era of high art, or even low art.

    It looks like a pavilion in a park with maybe Asian influence,  I'm betting the underhang will become pretty popular spaces to be in the blazing sun. and the terrace above will also be very popular as a meeting place.

    Bet, they'll all turn around once it is built.


    georgie01
  • Reply 19 of 43
    Seems like a few issues at play:

    I'll address this in several parts:

    • A lot of opinions being thrown around over nothing more than a rendering (a pretty noisy/ugly one too I might add - seems rather unimaginative considering Apple's other architectural pursuits.)
    Perhaps, but its a rendering given to the people of Melbourne about one of their most notable public places. Melburnians have nothing else to go on.

    • The community misdirecting their anger to Apple, when they should focus on why their government is offering the space to a corporate to begin with, and that they're also willing to demolish a building to get it there. At the same time I can see why they dodged public consultation - it destroys vision and produces mediocre spaces.
    That's definitely an issue, but it's not like the Victorian government decided "hey, lets make this retail! Who wants it? Hmmm maybe Apple on the other side of the world wants it?" No, Apple must have asked. It was arrogant and presumptuous of Apple that they'd be accepted there, much like it has been arrogant and presumptuous in all places that they would become the "Town Hall" area. Do the people really want to give public places up to "pseudo-public" retail chains trying to exploit being the heart of the community for their own capitalistic gains? Apple seem to think so.

    The fact that Victorian government is saying yes is disturbing. That's an issue for the people of Melbourne to bicker about at the next state election.

    As for public consultation? I agree public consultation during the design phase would have produced substandard results. But now its over to the people, and the people are overwhelmingly against this. (not that their private design phase got them anything half decent)

    • Finally, it's an opportunity for political football; whereby opposition will always spin an anti-everything sentiment, public spaces are inevitable, low hanging fruit.
    I'm not in the opposition of the concept. I've complained for a long time that Apple doesn't have a city centre store. All others are a long distance out and not exactly easy to get to. That doesn't mean that something so public to the people of Victoria should be thrown away simply because you don't think its important. TBH I was in shock when I heard where it was going. Even as an Apple fan, I was thinking "wow, Apple really has a lot of gaul trying to go there, that's going to piss of a *ton* of people".


    As for Fed Square - it's overrated. An insecure manifestation of me-too aesthetics appropriated from European cities, all while sidelining its own heritage.

    I happen to agree with you, but adding to one eyesore with another? I see people's point here.

    edited February 7
  • Reply 20 of 43
    ...I would simply ask if the upper roof might replicate the eaves of the lower roof, still 'floating' as it were, if less planar, and terrace reflection notwithstanding; yet perhaps a more consistently form-function based design...?

    Iconographic references to commercial logos would seem a stretch to me...
    edited February 7
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