This past summer ARM Architects released images of their proposal for a downtown Melbourne tower emblazoned with the face of elder Wurundjeri clan leader William Barak, calling their design "an homage to the first Australian." Now, inscribing a 328-foot-high likeness of the leader of a marginalized indigenous tribe on the facade of a high-rise development is one thing--ethical considerations notwithstanding--it's at least culturally relevant, right? But what to make of the new plans to plaster Ziggy Stardust's face on the facade of an apartment block in Melbourne's Prahran district?
That's what developer Donald Musto is planning for his new $10 million 5-story residential project. The mug of David Bowie's space age alter-ego will be etched on the facade's perforated metal screen. By adjusting each unit's screens, residents may manipulate the pop star's eyes and lips, changing Bowie's general expression. Of the bizarre decision to cover his development with the visage of a 40-year old fictional movie character, Musto told the Herald Sun, "I am a Bowie fan, but not ridiculously - it was just an image that we thought spanned a wide generational group." His original choice: Andy Warhol.