Architects in Melbourne cite the cloth-clad dancers in the music video for Ghost by singer, songwriter and performer Beyoncé as the source of this newly-approved building, tall, slender and full of curves. Indeed, the whole building looks like an undulating figure on a pedestal, rectilinear below and organic above.
A skyline-shaping and head-turning structure, the mixed-use Premier Tower was designed by local firm Elenberg Fraser and boasts structural as well as aesthetic reasons for its complex appearance. The architects explain that “the twists and turns of this new project belie its pure and simple, first principles rationale,” representing the “culmination of our significant research into how to best work with individual site and climatic constraints, brought together using our new parametric modelling techniques.”
Structurally, the cantilever helps redistribute the mass to deal with frequency oscillation and wind loads needed to deal with local environmental conditions and meet building codes. At the same time, watching the music video (above) shows the visual source of inspiration that drove this design direction in the first place (arguably also influenced by the work of Zaha Hadid).
The distinctively exterior curviness is carried into various interior elements as well, from wavy ceilings to complex cylindrical columns, repeating the same curvilinear theme throughout various indoor spaces both communal and private.
The finished complex will house over 600 apartments and 100 hotel rooms, sitting next to Southern Cross station, anchoring a western progression within the city “heralded by the regeneration of Docklands, Fishermen’s Bend and Southbank.” Significantly taller than structures on all sides, the bold design sets a new precedent for the neighborhood. Creating a direct connection to a public figure in the entertainment industry is also a daring move, and likely to brand the building going forward, for better or worse.