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Foster + Partners' new Australian Apple Store is cancelled by Heritage Victoria

Australia Architecture News - Apr 9, 2019 - 06:22   2295 views

Foster + Partners' new Australian Apple Store is cancelled by Heritage Victoria

Foster + Partners-designed new Apple store at Federation Square in Melbourne has been cancelled, following the rejection of plans by Heritage Victoria, a Victorian State Government body.

Herald Sun newspaper reported that Heritage Victoria rejected to grant a planning permit to redevelop the site for Apple's new Global Flagship Store at Federation Square in Melbourne. 

After the plans first approved in 2017, the project has faced with a widespread criticism and comparisons to a "Pizza Hut Pagoda", then the Fed Square Management unveiled revised version of design in July, 2018 after a series of design workshops involving Fed Square Management, the Victorian Government, Melbourne City Council and Apple.

The plans were stipulating the demolition of the existing Yarra Building to replace with a new Apple store but the scheme was majorly received criticism from the public. Even, a petition was launched for the design scheme dubbed "Pizza Hut Pagoda" at Change's website to protest the project. 

Foster + Partners' new Australian Apple Store is cancelled by Heritage Victoria

Aerial rendering of Federation Square with the old Apple Store design to the square’s south at center-right of the image.

The Apple store will harm cultural heritage and significance of Federation Square

After several controversies on the project, the Heritage Victoria stated that if the plans are implemented, there will be "an unacceptable and irreversible detrimental impact on the cultural heritage and significance of Federation Square".

"If the application were approved, and the Yarra Building demolished and replaced with the proposed building, it would result in an unacceptable and irreversible detrimental impact on the cultural heritage and significance of Federation Square," said Steven Avery, executive director of Heritage Victoria in a statement. 

In addition, in a statement, the Andrews Government said it and Apple acknowledged the proposed store “cannot proceed”.

Foster + Partners' new Australian Apple Store is cancelled by Heritage Victoria

The Apple store would be “visually dominant”, according to the Heritage Victoria

Heritage Victoria said the Apple store would be “visually dominant”, detracting from the design of the square and encroaching into public space. "The negative impacts of the proposal are not outweighed by the benefits, including the economic benefits," its decision said.

In a released statement, Apple said: "While we are disappointed we’re no longer able to pursue our plan for Federation Square, we remain committed to serving our customers in Melbourne and across Australia."

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the store was an "exciting concept" and the decision was disappointing.

"We will work with the Victorian Government and Fed Square to make the most of its public spaces and Yarra River frontage while activating the retail and public spaces that make this space so important for our city. We will also ensure that community views are key to any new plans," she said.

Foster + Partners' new Australian Apple Store is cancelled by Heritage Victoria

After many conversations and workshops, Foster + Partners' new design included the re-design of roof with shading and solar panels and entirely the changing of form, not to resemble "a fast-food chain". The new shading and solar panels would enhance the energy efficiency for the building.

Federation Square was nominated to the Victorian Heritage Register for historic preservation in August 2018. The Federation Square’s management submitted the application to Heritage Victoria for permission to demolish the Yarra Building in December 2018. Federation Square’s registration for the Victorian Heritage Register will be completed by the end of April.

All images courtesy of Foster + Partners

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