Elenberg Fraser has designed a 226 metre tall tower for Melbourne. Called the Premier Tower, it has received planning permission and has been inspired by Beyoncé’s music video ‘Ghost’.
Dancers are seen writhing within a fabric and the tower has been shaped by parametric tools to emulate their movements. At first, it is quite difficult to fathom how defining the building around a female form serves any purpose in architecture. Elenberg Fraser does have a plausible explanation though. The building juts out at various parts, and this makes for a stable structure as the mass is distributed across the building, also giving the best results in terms of frequency oscillation and wind requirements.
The tower is a 68 storey vertical cantilever that will hold 660 apartments, a 160 room hotel and a retail space. Initially the tower was 300 metre high. With concerns over it overshadowing the Batman Park, it was reduced to 226 metre. Part of a bigger vision to re-plan the entire precinct, it will provide housing opportunities closer to work to more people in the central business district. However, the smallest apartment measures only 41 square metre as opposed to the 50 square metre minimum for NSW.
Viewing the building from the front reveals its rigid form with parts protruding here and there. It does not seem to be in any way defining a dancer’s lithe form. As compared to its surrounding buildings though, it does break the monotony of straight lines dominating the skyline. There are admirers who feel that by being inspired by the video, the building connects to popular culture. There are critics as well who think that taking such an inspiration is not in good taste. And there are still others who despite not deeming the concept acceptable, still feel that the tower is beautiful.
Architects: Elenberg Fraser
Location: Melbourne VIC, Australia
Client: Fragrance Group
Building Surveyor: PLP Building Surveyors and Consultants
Civil Engineer: WSP Structures
Fire Engineer: Omnii
Land Surveyor: Reeds Consulting
Quality Surveyor: WT Partnership
Services Engineer: Murchie Consulting
Acoustic Engineer: Vipac
Landscape Architect: Oculus Consultants
Heritage Consultant: Trethowan
Waste Consultant: Leigh Design
ESD Consultant : Ark Resources
Wind Engineer: MEL Consultants
Traffic Engineer: Cardno Limited
Structural Engineer: WSP Structures
Fire Services Engineer: Murchie Consulting
Geotechnical Engineer: Golders Associates
Facade Engineer: Inhabit
Facade Access Consultant: Altitude
Overshadowing Consultant : Orbit Solution
Aviation Consultant : Thompson GCS
Photographs: Elenberg Fraser
By: Sahiba Gulati