For years Melburnians have wondered – and complained – about the lack of an Apple store in the city centre, with the tech giant’s Melbourne locations restricted to suburban shopping centres. Until now.
Apple has revealed it has chosen Federation Square as the location for its first Global Flagship Store in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s only the second of this kind of Apple store to open outside of the US – the other is in Milan – and the fifth worldwide.
“This isn’t just any regular Apple shop,” Fed Square says on its website.
"We’re thrilled to move forward in the planning process for our new home in Melbourne’s Federation Square and would be honoured to call the world-class galleries and museums of Melbourne our neighbours,” Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, said in a statement. "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.”
Donald Bates – the original architect of Federation Square – has given his approval for the new two-storey design.
The two level pavilion “has a sculptural quality, with wrap-around glass and balconies for uninterrupted city views,” Apple said. “Metal cladding and stone flooring complement the adjacent buildings and plaza, while outside the new landscaped areas bring increased greenery and places to relax, meet and access the Yarra River and beyond.”
To make way for the development 500 square metres of new public space will be opened up at the Melbourne landmark.
The new Apple store will host live music, classes and workshops. The Victorian government says the city location is expected to bring an additional two million people to Federation Square a year.
The Yarra Building will be knocked down to make way for the store and the Koorie Heritage Trust will relocate to the Alfred Deakin building.
The Herald Sun reports Apple will cover all costs in exchange for a 20-year lease.
Due to open in 2020, construction of the two-storey building is expected to begin in mid 2019.
Not sure how I feel about this.