On how to use Apple products. Just like any Apple Store. Not sure if that’s really for the public good!
I was interested in this piece until this particular section, which shows how little the author knows and understands Apple:
Choosing Apple as your anchor tenant probably sounded cool back in 2009 when this stupid idea first bubbled up. It is not even this decade’s hot brand.
Smartphones are going the way of TVs — people want a good screen and a good processor and are increasingly unconcerned about the brand. Apple can remain popular but become unexciting, like so many consumer brands before it.
Federation Square management insists: “This isn’t just any regular Apple shop — it is a Global Flagship Store.” Sounds like they’ve swallowed the PR.
I thought his comparing Federation Square with the Sydney Opera House was pure delusion of grandeur. I don’t live in either city these days, but Sydney has one of the world’s finest harbours… All Melbourne has is a muddy river.
You got me. The live music events, the access to the river, the space for a gallery and the larger public space mean nothing because something something corporate devil
I think Melbourne and its residents have a copious number of other issues they need to face and resolve before they even broach the topic of an Apple Store in a CBD square tbh
I’m a bit conflicted about this. It was reported some years ago that Apple were scoping out the GPO as it’s flagship - now, that would’ve been something special.
At the end of the day, Fed Square is already surrounded by commercial spaces. It in itself is a commercialised space. It will do fine, and Melbourne will finally have it’s flagship store that Apple users have been crying out for.
I like Apple. I like Apple stores. I would not have an issue with an Apple Store in the old GPO, but I am not sure that Federation Square is an appropriate location.
Would it set a commercial precedent? Could we end up with other commercial “flagship stores” outbidding existing tenants so that the square eventually becomes just another shopping area? If Apple is okay, why not Tiffany, BMW, and Chanel?
From FedSq’s website:
OUR VISION FOR FED SQUARE
To be recognised internationally as a contemporary world site and Melbourne’s inspirational public space.
To manage and develop Fed Square to actively support and reflect Melbourne’s pre-eminent civic and cultural strengths.
relating to the duties or activities of people in relation to their town, city, or local area.
“he was active in the civic life of Swindon”
relating to the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society.
“the cultural diversity of British society”
Well, that’s one obstacle removed…
Over 95,000 people have signed petitions against allowing it in Fed Square. I guess they will probably get over it. In the same way that some of them, no doubt, got over hating the Square when it was built in the first place.
It’s easy to forget just how unpopular it was at first and it would be fascinating to know how many of the “this is a travesty” folks were on the “this is the ugliest thing ever and will destroy Melbourne” train when the plans for the original square were announced.
Still don’t think much of it myself though.
I’ll admit, I backed the petitions and movement against the Apple Store, so this development is disappointing.
I know I’m outside of Melbourne. It was mainly out of principle. I don’t like Apple for a multitude of reasons. Anyone familiar with their credo knows they’re a pretentious, privileged company that pushes mediocre products and services in the guise of “enriching lives”, building their brand in locations where it doesn’t strictly belong in the form of “Apple Town Squares”, and believing locals should thank them for the privilege of having graced their town or city with their presence. At the end of the day, it’s a store that sells phones.
Yes I have lasting grievances with them. There’s no hiding it. I’d sooner roll up and smoke $4k in hard bills than invest that cash into a new MacBook Pro. But I have to work with them, and have been for a long time. I suppose the view from the inside of the machine isn’t quite as nice as the exterior.
But ultimately I hope somehow, in some form, this benefits Melbourne and its people, and not just the Apple die-hards. It would be a shame if at the end of the day, finances aside, all the locals stood to benefit from this was another place to buy an iPhone and another Genius Bar to book in advance for.
I for one do thank them for their sympathetic restoration of MacArthur Chambers in Brisbane. A beautiful piece of architecture that nobody else would touch.
I suppose that’s one instance where it ended up being beneficial, and it looks like they did a decent job there.
I don’t take issue with everything Apple does (it’s mostly procedural and middle to senior management to be honest), and not anymore than other equivalent companies. It’s the way Apple has gone about it that’s the problem, weaving retail locations into places of significance around the world, and pretend the stores themselves are cultural centres, there for the people, totally not there to sell or service products.
Call a spade a spade. Place a retail store in a retail location. Sell a bunch of products, service them, support them, show everyone how to use them. Do it well, and people will love it. But it’s not a Town Square and I don’t see why Apple is so insistent on building stores in the middle of them.
I get what you’re saying though.
I just feel like in the case of Federation Square it’s not an issue about a new building and a tweak to the layout, it’s about it being an Apple store.
If you take Apple out of the equation and think about Fed Square replacing a building with an interesting bit of architecture it piques curiosity. If you then think about the Square getting more publicly usable space and access to the river in addition to a new-age gallery that sounds pretty great. Who wouldn’t want that?
The question should be would you rather keep what is there now, or trade in the tenancy of that new building to a retailer in exchange for all those other benefits? 95,000 vocal campaigners want the status quo. How many of the remaining 3.7 million Melburnians welcome the change and welcome the compromise?
I suppose it depends on how Melburnians perceive the square and the purpose it serves. That I wouldn’t know, I’m not a local and never have been. I can only really speak for Adelaide, and can think of a couple of local equivalents where I know I’d like a clearly defined line between commercial and public space, that if Apple were to propose building a store there I’d be livid. But that, thankfully, remains a purely hypothetical situation at this point.
One would certainly hope that Apple would contribute in some way to the events that are held in Fed Square going forward. Outside of that, I expect the only real benefit that the proposed building will generate will be increased foot traffic, that may possibly help other local retailers (except of course the aforementioned existing Apple retailer…).
A Soviet era cinderblock would improve federation square. It’s awful, offensively and pretentiously awful. And not in a small way.
I for one can’t comprehend why Apple would want to be associated with that architectural eyesore. It’s exactly he kind of abortive wankery which wins architectural awards and vast sums of public money because its courageous or avant- garde!
Therein lies the second issue. The 95,000 campaigners contained a subset who believed the government was circumventing due process by approving plans for a store within the public space without public consultation. Had the consultation process gone ahead, it could have been determined with certainty whether the overall population of Melbourne, or at least a broader variety of demographics, was overwhelmingly in favour for or against the plans.
95,000 campaigners against a specific issue (as opposed to a much broader issue like transport or energy prices, for example) isn’t an overly small number in terms of sample size, especially for an issue affecting one location in one city, I’d consider that enough to at least look into the issues concerning them further. But some would argue the state government mishandled this, and in doing so denied the people their voice.
The comments section of this article presents an interesting exchange of views.
There was a fairly large thread in /r/melbourne when this was first announced.
Most the commenters against the proposal didn’t really offer any argument against it other than “fuck Apple”. I do question if they’d been so against it had it been any other company.
Personally, I don’t really care. I don’t think much of the actual design, but beyond that, whatever.
Personally I think that the building is hideous and looks totally out of place - no matter who wants to put it there (i.e this is not an anti-Apple comment it’s anti the building)
I don’t think the building is hideous but I do think that the styling totally fails to mesh with the existing Fed Square architecture.
Love it or hate it the Fed Square styling is very distinctive and choseing a very very different style means that there is nothing to link the new building and the square.
That’s a mistake in my opinion.