Design: Does this Building Look Like Beyoncé?

The "bootylicious" façade was designed to redistribute the building's mass for optimal structural dispersion, frequency oscillation, and wind requirements

July 14, 2015
Design: Does this Building Look Like Beyoncé?

Renderings courtesy of Elenberg Fraser.

Last May, the city of Melbourne approved a 741-foot tower that features a curvy façade based on Beyoncé’s music video Ghost, where models (possibly the songstress herself) are enveloped in what appears to be skin-tight chiffon, stretching and swaying as a wind machine blows.

But according to the building’s designer, architects at Australian firm Elenberg Fraser, the shape isn’t merely an ode to one of today’s most prominent pop icons alive. In fact, lead architect Reid Dixon told Gizmag it was purely coincidental.

"The building volume was created by those natural outcomes," Dixon told Gizmag. "We were in a meeting and trying to describe the appearance of the design to somebody, but we didn't have any images. So one of our directors said it looks like the music clip to Beyoncé's Ghost."

Screenshot from Beyoncé's video Ghost, (c) 2013 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

"This project is the culmination of our significant research," the firm told Dezeen. "The complex form—a vertical cantilever—is actually the most effective way to redistribute the building's mass, giving the best results in terms of structural dispersion, frequency oscillation and wind requirements."

According to Gizmag, the similarity between the form and Beyoncé's music video was noticed in the early stages, when only the exterior design was completed. So the team went on with the idea, even designing the interiors in "a nice warm palette, inspired by Beyoncé's skin tones and theatre performances," Dixon tells Gizmag.

Computer aid using parametric modeling helped the architects come up with the design specifics, such as where the building swells in and swells out.

The building will have 68 stories, containing 660 apartments and a 160-room hotel. The building will be located at the west end of Melbourne’s business district. There is no construction start or completion date announced yet.

Beyoncé wouldn’t be the first pop icon to inspire architects. Dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were credited for being Frank Gehry’s inspiration in design of the Nationale-Nederlanden building in Prague.

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