A beloved album can turn into a sonic home of sorts, and provide a measure of comfort that trumps an actual living space. Now we have a mash-up of both: In his new illustration series, “Archimusic,” Barcelona-based designer Federico Babina has designed homes that embody the sensibility and tone of 27 musicians and their biggest hits. Among these sonic fortresses–which range from sleekly designed small-scale homes to colorful and funkier buildings that could be apartments, institutional homes, or symphony halls–are Miles Davis’s So What, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
Babina appears to be no slacker when it comes to hard thinking about the ways in which design and music mesh. “Both music and architecture are generated by an underlying code, an order revealed by mathematics and geometry,” Babina says in his artist statement. He describes the series as an exercise in “listening to architecture,” interpreting its musicality and rhythm, and representing the structural, visual qualities of music. He explored whether “the music is horizontal, vertical or oblique,” whether “sound leans firmly on the ground or if it touches on tiptoe,” and whether “it’s made of contrasting colors or tones that change gradually.”
Babina’s nuanced deconstructions of these songs feed beautifully into the not entirely dissimilar rhythms of architecture. And he represents music, through design, in ways that are both historical and witty. He incorporates classic album art (Joy Division’s Pete Saville-designed Unknown Pleasures); famous hairstyles (Amy Winehouse’s beehive is translated into a black-topped building, Bjork’s house has cinnamon buns); and signature instruments (Hendrix’s house is Stratocaster-shaped; Coltrane’s resembles a sax). It’s a hardworked, and rather successful, design experiment–Babina thoughtfully captures the mood and aesthetic of the songs in the structure of the buildings that represent them. In a compilation illustration, the buildings come together in a city truly built on rock ‘n’ roll.
You can buy the illustrations as prints for $24 here.