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At first, the architects tried to sound professional, talking about “significant research” and working to “site and climatic constraints”. But then Elenberg Fraser came clean about the true inspiration for the bulging curves of the building they’re planning for the Melbourne skyline, saying: “We trust you’ve seen the video for Beyoncé’s Ghost.”
In case you haven’t, the video features naked women trapped inside tubes of stretchy fabric, like human cannelloni, twisting and squirming as if trying to wriggle their way out. As they wrestle, they form strange amorphous towers of hips, ribs and nipples, bulging sacks of body parts that are now to be brought to Melbourne in layers of glass and steel, their knees and elbows translated into a staggered stack of luxury flats. As Goethe once (almost) said: “Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music videos.”
As the vacuum-sealed nymphs writhe away, Beyoncé gloomily intones, “All the shit I do is boring” – a sentiment clearly shared by the architects, who seem to be desperately trying to escape the fact that they’ve just designed another generic silo of high-end apartments and hotel rooms, jazzed up in a twisted glass wrapper. But the genesis of the project might be simply explained by a look at the “Philosophy” section of Elenberg Fraser’s website, where the architects begin with a quote from F Scott Fitzgerald: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Like designing a skyscraper while watching Beyoncé videos? You betcha. […]