The Selfridges Building department store, in Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre in England, was completed in 2003 with a steel framework, a sprayed concrete facade and 15,000 anodised aluminium discs mounted on a blue background….
Viewed in its entirety, the building was designed to evoke the female silhouette and the famous “chainmail” dress by Paco Rabanne who made his debut onto the French fashion scene in 1966 with a collection entitled: “12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials”.
The “Unwearables” collection of metal dresses used geometric plates stamped from brass, rhodoïd plastics, and sequins held together with steel jump rings. Using pliers and rings as opposed to needle in thread, the dresses were like medieval chainmail adapted and reintroduced as futuristic outfits. “I defy anyone to design a hat, coat or dress that hasn’t been done before…The only new frontier left in fashion is the finding of new materials.” Paco Rabanne was dismissed by many in the French fashion establishment, including Coco Chanel who quipped, “He’s not a couturier, he’s a metal worker”…
But back to the architecture: blob architecture aka Blobitecture, Blobism and Blob are terms for a movement in architecture in which buildings have an organic, amoeba-shaped, building form. The term blob architecture was coined by the architect Greg Lynn in 1995 during his experiments in digital design with metaball graphical software. Architects derive the forms by manipulating the algorithms of the computer modeling platform.
Paco’s dresses are still available, a snip at €2,675.00 !