10 Music Videos Architects Will Love

Music videos are one way for an artist or a band to promote their music, and so the idea and the setting of the video matters. They can explain the lyrics of a song more deeply, give an expressive act, or simply visualize the music. Some of these videos use architecture as the main focus, and some use it, simply, as a backdrop. Here we list to you some music videos which integrated architecture in various interesting ways that will grab the attention of any architect.

1.Up&Up – Coldplay

The music video for Coldplay’s third single from their album “A Head Full of Dreams,” released in 2016, was definitely a hit, getting more than 3 million views on its first day. The band’s website describes the video as “a poignant, surrealist montage which alludes to contemporary issues.” Among other things, the whimsical music video features architectural landmarks and urban landscapes in extraordinary scales and contexts; like the Golden Gate Bridge over a puddle in the street and the Chrysler building in a dish. There are also people cycling up the curtain wall of One World Trade Center, a diver jumping into a pool of clouds in front of the vintage Glorious American Hotel in Miami, and giant wildflowers sprouting between skyscrapers.

2.Go -The Chemical Brothers

The music video of “Go,” released in 2015, follows 7 dancers dressed in a gray and black uniform and moving in a unified robotic, machine-like, manner. The context is 15th arrondissement along the Seine in the French capital, Paris, where the dancers are surrounded by the brutalist architecture of Henri Pottier and Raymond Jules Lopez. The choreography in the video coincides with the architectural features of these buildings, emphasizing their linear and minimalist forms.

3.New York, New York – Ryan Adams

The music video, mainly featuring Adams with the cityscape of New York in the background, was shot 4 days before the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on the 11th of September, 2001, which gave the video an entirely new meaning and a sort of a nostalgic sense. Now, the scene of the two towers standing out from the crowd of skyscrapers, high in the sky of New York City, can never be repeated.

4.Art Department – Walls

The animated video for the Techno song features a fictional retro-futuristic city, influenced by the ancient architecture of Babylon and the 50s modernist architecture, especially that of the architect Richard Neutra in Southern California. The South Beach pastel-colored video, alternating between pink, turquoise, and shades of purple, emphasizes the retro-futuristic feel with a hint of artificiality. Also, the unity in the color scheme turns the focus to the illustrated architecture. The final result is a sort of depressing Utopia which goes in line with the song and the playing story in the music video.

5.Architecture – Omi Palone

The music video of “Architecture,” by the London- based post-punk band, displays static, black and white shots of London’s brutalist architecture. The shots are taken from various angles which focus on architectural elements and details of some buildings. The band has, probably, opted for Brutal architecture above other styles because of its pure and striking appearance which is untied to any artistic touches.

6.Time is of the Essence – Cold Mailman

The Norwegian Indie-pop band uses Oslo’s apartment buildings as a backdrop for their time-lapse music video of “Time is of the Essence.” Their music is visualized, playfully, by the switching, on and off, the lights inside the apartments. In addition to visualizing the music, the dynamic lighting brightens those mass residential buildings of the 70s and leave an impression of a lively inhabited and connected city.

7.There Will Be Singing – DJ Efdemin

German musical artist and DJ, Phillip Sollmann’s took part in the making of the music video for his piece, There Will Be Singing. The video presents interesting black and white photographs of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive Apartments in Chicago. The photos view the Modernist twin towers from different angles and give an up-close look on some of their minimalistic details.

8.Why? – 3T ft. Michael Jackson

The R&B musical group 3T’s song featuring Michael Jackson was released in 1996, with a promoting black and white music video. The setting for the music is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles. Inside, the Mayan Revival residential dwelling you can see the dominating geometric pattern, repeated all over the house. Does it look familiar? Yes, the house and the pattern were also featured in the popular Sci-fi movie, Blade Runner.

9.In My Secret Life – Leonard Cohen

In his video of the song “In My Secret Life,” Leonard Cohen features the complicated domestic life of some egg-headed people living in Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67. Habitat 67 is a Futuristic Brutalist residential project in Montreal. Cohen was, possibly, intending to mock commercialism, with this Habitat 67 as an example, by showing the complexity of the normal daily routines inside its intricate geometry. He, also, highlights the abnormalities in the project by wandering into tits most extraordinary parts and standing against some of its odd angles.

10.Drake — Hotline Bling

Drake’s hit, Hotline bling, got even more popular with its captivating music video taking over the social media. The secret to the catchy video lies with the contrast between the minimalist rectilinear architectural setting, and the flexible dance moves. The effect was doubled by the architectural masses emitting light making the dancers, almost, into silhouettes and highlighting their moves against the straight lines of the walls and stairs.


also suggested three playlists divided by genre: instrumental, electronic, and experimental; hard rock and metal; and pop, alternative, rap, and any other genre that didn’t fit in the other two playlists.



Hard Rock/Metal

UPDATE 8/30/2016: The playlists were updated with more music.

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