Design Principles for the Apple Store

Principles to guide the design refinement stage, global flagship Apple Store building, Federation Square.

The following principles relate to the architectural concept design for the Apple Store building.

Contextual design response

The architectural design concept should be further developed to respond to and acknowledge:

  • the scale, diversity and form of the Hoddle Grid and its relationship with the contrasting, more organic and less structured Fed Square network patterns and buildings;
  • the landscaped river corridor;
  • the existing buildings in Fed Square;
  • the emerging concept design for the Town Hall metro station (to be located on the north-west corner of Fed Square),


  • make a civic contribution in terms of its architecture and relationship to the public realm;
  • be conscious of the wider precinct networks – road, tram, pedestrian and cycling.
  • The new building should be considered in terms of its contribution as a design legacy for Fed Square and central Melbourne: not as a generic response, nor as a stand-alone building but as part of an assembly of campus buildings.

Design cues from Fed Square

The architectural design concept should be further developed to respond to and acknowledge design cues embedded in the existing place:

  • The siting and alignment of the new building can reference the non-orthogonal layout of existing buildings within Fed Square, within the structural constraints of the deck.
  • The new building must balance an appropriate level of containment and activation to the southern edge of Fed Square's plaza, maintain an engaging edge to the plaza whilst creating an improved visual and physical connection with universal access between the plaza and the Yarra River.
  • The form of the new building should interpret the architectural intent in the built form 'type' in Fed Square: buildings celebrate geometry, they have layered and varied facades, parapet roofs, indented screened balconies – so that the building is identifiable as being both of its place and a contemporary addition to the campus of buildings within the square.
  • The rooftop should be viewed as a fifth elevation with a resolved design response with no projections or visible services.
  • The palette of materials and finishes for the new building, whilst including sheer, transparent glass facades, should also reference the bespoke materiality of Fed Square and its layering and nuancing of materials, without being a literal or faux interpretation.
  • Fed Square's signature catenary lighting must be appropriately integrated with the new building.
  • The new building must not result in any additional overshadowing impact when compared to the shadow impact of the existing Yarra building.
  • The developed design must adequately resolve site specific organisational factors including orientation, natural light, maintenance and servicing.

Environmentally Sustainable Design

The design must be developed to:

  • showcase exemplary ESD outcomes and aim to achieve a Six Star Green Star rating.
  • consider the potential for any future reuse of the building and provide an adaptable building format to ensure a long term built legacy.


Agreed by Steering Committee on 7 February 2018