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Architecture that sings Happy New Year!

If you could have any famous artist who has ever lived design you a home, who would you pick? Michelangelo? Botticelli? Picasso? Andy Warhol? Architect Federico Babina, who is based in Barcelona, Spain, has given this some thought and created a series of posters that feature buildings in the style of some of the world’s greatest artists. It isn’t that he tries to turn Joan Miro into an architect; rather, he takes the essence of the artist’s unique expressive style and aesthetic and plays with it. As Babina puts it, “Art and architecture are disciplines that speak and lightly touch each other. The definition and function of architecture is changing constantly with the development of contemporary art.” His series of twenty-seven images, called Archist, is a playful re-imagining of some of the world’s most iconic art in the form of buildings.

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Mondrian re-imagined by Federico Babina.

Babina sees the ways in which various forms of art can intersect with one another.He has compared a sculpture to a “micro-architecture” and the facade of a building to a painted canvas. A building itself can be “shaped as in the hands of a skilled sculptor.”

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If Picasso had built condos? The Picasso entry in Federico Babina’s Archist series.

Babina does not limit himself to works of art. He has created various series of images based on famous songs and musicians, movies, famous quotes by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright—“Space is the breath of art”—and even a series that uses the architects’ faces to create “archiportraits.”

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One of the Las Vegas-style Archiquotes posters by Federico Babina. Each poster features a quote by a famous architect, this one by Arne Jacobsen.

Seeing parallels between music and architecture is not unusual. Music is often described in terms of its architecture, and Babina sees the “common mathematical order” that regulates both the form and the rhythm in both art forms. For some of his Archimusic series he begins with the album cover artwork and lets his imagination find the shapes “hidden behind” the music. Below is his take on Miles Davis. The image at the top of this page represents The Beatles.

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Jazz great Miles Davis’s music imagined as a building by Federico Babina, one of his Archimusic posters.

Buildings and booze?

We can’t be sure whether the Swiss firm Kosmos Architects took their inspiration from Babina or not, but they have come up with their own whimsical take on architecture and its relationship to alcohol. Behind every great building, the Swiss architects say, is a perfectly mixed cocktail. And what more appropriate match could there be than between that most iconic of Manhattan landmarks, the Seagram Building, a booze-built building if ever there was one, and that old favourite of mixed cocktails, the Manhattan? They released their playful series of twelve just in time for New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year!

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