Courtesy Federation Square

Last year, plans for a Foster + Partners–designed flagship Apple store in Melbourne, Australia's Federation Square were met with resistance by the public, with many criticizing the demolition of the existing Yarra Building and the local government's decision to skip a public notice of the proposed development. (The design was also infamously dubbed the "Pizza Hut Pagoda".) Seven months on, the Federation Square management company has released revised plans for the new Apple project, as well as a larger reimagined scheme for the square.

Developed following a series of workshops with the Victorian Government, the Melbourne City Council, and Apple, the new Federation Square design calls for the construction of a digital façade on the Transport Building, a new Metro Tunnel entrance, and the addition of more than 5,000 square feet of public space.

"It’s important that Fed Square continues to grow and evolve with the city,” said Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe in a press release. "These flagship projects will ensure that Fed Square remains a world-class civic and cultural precinct, with state-of-the-art buildings and infrastructure, technology, access and programming.”

In February, the Victorian government organized a steering committee to help guide Foster + Partners' designs for the structure, following community opposition and "in response to the issues raised by the City of Melbourne," according to an article.

In the refreshed Apple store concept, Foster + Partners has removed the formerly proposed eastern and western terraces and will incorporate a solar roof, which is now designed to "complement" the updated square, according to the Federation Square press release. The structure will also feature solar shading to further optimize the building's energy performance.

Courtesy Federation Square

However, plans for the retail space still call for the demolition of the Yarra Building, which will force the relocation of the Koorie Heritage Trust—an Aboriginal culture center— that occupies the space. “While it is encouraging to see Apple is open to redesigning its Federation Square store, it does not respond to the fundamental concerns that were proposed earlier about the demolition of a significant building in our city’s town square,” said National Trust of Australia CEO Simon Ambrose in a statement.

Courtesy Federation Square

Despite these concerns, the City of Victoria is committed to the redesign. "The Yarra Building itself has always presented a visual and physical barrier between Federation Square and the Yarra riverside with access between them limited and exposure to the Square from the riverside effectively non-existent," the Victoria Govenrment writes in its project assessment. "The new building will address these limitations with a much smaller footprint than the existing Yarra Building and transparent glazed facades, which also expose the Square to the riverside."

“The Apple Global Flagship Store is consistent with Federations Square’s Civic and Cultural Charter, which recognises Melbourne’s pre-eminence as a centre for creativity and innovation,” Tribe said in the press release. “A daily program of free events through 'Today at Apple' will work with the local creative and IT sectors to host educational workshops and experiences for people of all ages.”

The Apple store was expected to open in 2020, though an updated timeline has not been released since the redesign.