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Apple plans first Australian global flagship store in Federation Square, set to open in 2020

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Apple on Tuesday previewed plans for a huge global flagship store set for construction in Melbourne, Australia's Federation Square, a cultural hub that acts as a home to multiple museums, art galleries and eateries.

Apple calls the upcoming Federation Square outlet the "most significant store in the Southern Hemisphere," and design plans for the large two-story building bear out those words.

Slated to take the place of the existing Yarra building, which currently houses the Koorie Heritage Trust Gallery, Apple's global flagship features a futuristic pavilion architecture with wrap-around glass walls on both levels and balconies — with glass railings — overlooking the city and nearby Yarra River.

The planned store appears to sport an angular metal roof, similar to other recent flagships like the recently opened Michigan Avenue location in Chicago. Metal cladding and stone flooring, another material often used in recent Apple builds, complement adjacent buildings and the sprawling plaza broken into three major public spaces — St. Paul's Court, The Square and The Atrium.

"We're thrilled to move forward in the planning process for our new home in Melbourne's Federation Square and would be honored to call the world-class galleries and museums of Melbourne our neighbors," said Apple SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts. "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."

The store will be the first retail outlet at the complex and was made possible through a partnership with Federation Square and the Victorian government. Lead architects for both Federation Square and the Victorian government were involved in project planning and have subsequently endorsed the proposed design.

Apple's plans include the addition of 500 square meters of new public space, a feat accomplished by restricting the building's footprint. The surrounding area will boast new landscaping that increases greenery while creating space for passersby to meet and relax, the company said.

Construction of the new flagship is slated to begin in 2019 and will generate several hundred jobs. When completed in 2020, Apple Federation Square will be powered entirely by renewable energy and will support more than 200 new Apple retail employees, some of whom will be dedicated Creative Pros tasked with leading "Today at Apple" sessions.

Apple Federation Square will be Apple's fifth global flagship worldwide and the second to be built outside of the U.S. The company is in the planning phase of a global flagship that will open in Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.

Apple currently operates 22 brick-and-mortar shops in Australia, five of which are in Victoria.