Beyoncé influences curvaceous new Melbourne building

What comes to mind when you think of superstar Beyoncé ? Luxury, style, movement and according to architecture firm Elenberg Fraser, lots of curves.

The superstar’s famous physique is being parlayed into “spiralling curves” for the new 68-story Premier Tower skyscraper, which will house 660 apartments, a retail space and 160-room hotel.

Image: Elenberg Fraser Architecture

The developers website states, “We’re going to trust you’ve seen the music video for Beyoncé’s Ghost,’ crediting the music video featuring swirling costumes and dance moves that inspired the project. ‘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. Art and science? You betcha.”

The undulating design was created with  Parametric modelling, a computer-aided design that allows complex shapes to be created. As a result, the unique design sees the building’s form swelling in and out at various points around the facade.

The project funded by Singaporean real estate tycoon Koh Wee Meng’s Fragrance group towers over its neighbours at 134 Spencer St.

Construction of the Melbourne building was approved in May, and is estimated to take up to 40 months, so Melbourne has quite a while to get ready for this jelly.

Would you like to stay in this very curvy building?



Is the tiny house movement the key to a happier life?

When we talk about downsizing we generally refer to empty nesters, keen for a smaller home with less cleaning and more time for enjoying their new-found freedom. Now, the trend towards younger people downsizing has taken off in cities such as New York, London and Vancouver.

A family on the roof garden of their house in Brighton, UK. Image: BBC UK


The concept makes sense when you consider the alarming rate of rising property prices, particularly in cities like Sydney where house prices are up by 12.2 per cent with the average home hovering at $760,000.

Could these pint-sized pads, also known as apodments, micro-digs, nano-suites and micro-lofts be the answer to urban affordability for people? People who find themselves priced out of the areas they’d prefer to call home could set up a tiny house in their dream location.

However, the developers sure aren’t marketing tiny homes in terms of affordability, preferring to use aspirational terms like luxury rentals.

David Wex, a partner at Urban Capital, the first developers of Toronto’s micro-condos, Smart House, said students and those who are tired of long commutes have shown great interest.

“Torontonians know what it means to have great stores, cafés and bars outside their door,” he said. “For those looking for a central location, [flats of] this type, design and price point is a great option.

The smaller living spaces are touted as making people happier as they provide the opportunity to live in great locations, be more energy efficient, deal with less cleaning and open people up to their neighbourhoods.

But this kind of micro-living doesn’t make everyone excited. The TV show Portlandia recently poked fun at tiny homes, with Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen showing off their “very, very efficient” home, followed by Brownstein complaining “I can feel your hot breath on me all the time.”

Fred Armison’s hybrid toilet-work-desk area from Portlandia’s tiny home skit. Image:Portlandia