Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Premier Tower Inspired by Beyonce

Sydney has a building described as a “squashed paper bag” and soon Melbourne will have a tower inspired by Beyonce. The Texas-born superstar apparently inspired the design of the 226m-high Premier Tower, which will replace the iconic but long-­shuttered Savoy Tavern on Spencer Street, according to architects Elenberg Fraser. 
“Art and science? You betcha. For those more on the art than science side, we will reveal that the form does pay homage to something more aesthetic — we’re going to trust you’ve seen the music video for Beyonce’s Ghost,” the architects said.

The undulating glass shape of the apartment and hotel project, which was designed on behalf of Singaporean developer Fragrance Group, pays homage to the fabric-wrapped dancers who appear in the music video, directed by Belgian director Pierre Debusschere and released in 2013.

Fragrance purchased the site, opposite South Cross Station, in June last year for $44.5 million, just a week after buying another development site, at 555 Collins Street, from Harry Stamoulis for $78m.

The 1800sq.m. Savoy Tavern, at 134-160 Spencer Street in West Melbourne, was previously owned by businessman Mark Rowsthorn after he purchased it from the Republic of Nauru in 2005 for $9.9m.

The project has development approval for a 68-floor tower with 660 apartments and a 160-room hotel, but the Elenberg Fraser-designed building rises to 78 floors in anticipation of aviation authority approval for additional storeys.

But even if Fragrance, headed by billionaire developer Koh Wee Meng, is granted approval for the additional height, the tower will still be somewhat shorter than a nearby project being developed by his brother, Koh Wee Seng.

Aspial has commenced the construction of the 317m, 108-floor Australia tower, designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, at 70 Southbank Boulevarde, which will be one of Melbourne’s tallest once complete.

Fragrance had originally intended to build a 90-storey tower on the Savoy site, with an end value of $700m, before reducing the size of the project to its present level.

Source: The Australian

Elenberg Fraser’s admission that their curvaceous new building design Premier Tower was inspired by the video for popstar Beyoncé’s song Ghost has elicited strong reactions across the globe.

The building, developed by Fragrance Group, boasts an undulating form made up of a series of cantlivers. News of its link to the prominent popstar was reported on Dezeen, The Guardian, The Chicago Sun-Times and The Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post described the building’s resemblance to the singer as “uncanny”.

“The grandness of the building is striking enough, but there’s something else — this building’s got curves,” the article reads. ”But these aren’t just any curves, of course. They are Beyoncé curves.”

The response from The Guardian‘s Oliver Wainwright, though, was much harsher, noting that that the Fragrance Group is, “by no means the first developer to deploy the crass metaphor of a writhing female form to sell a pile of expensive flats.”

He compared the project to the Chinese practice MAD’s Marilyn Monroe-inspired project and Frank Gehry’s 1992 Fred and Ginger building in Prague, which was modelled on Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing.

“Still, for creatively challenged architects and their attendant marketing consultants, the world of celebrity-shaped buildings offers endless possibilities,” he wrote.

Source: ArchitectureAU

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