London's Brutalist landmarks star in Omi Palone music video

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London's Brutalist landmarks star in Omi Palone music video

Music: a selection of the UK capital's most prominent Brutalist buildings are featured in the video for post-punk band Omi Palone's track Architecture.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

Footage of structures including Trellick Tower and Balfron Tower designed by Ernő Goldfinger, Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens, and Neave Brown's Alexandra Road Estate is included in the high-contrast black-and-white film, interspersed with performance footage of the group.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

Other featured buildings include Camden Town Annexe and Southwyck House – all examples of the Brutalist architectural style used predominantly for social housing and cultural development projects during the mid-20th century. A number of the key buildings from this period recently featured in Dezeen's series on Brutalism.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

The video was directed by Omi Palone’s guitarist, Simon Marsham, and features cinematography and editing by Dezeen Studio contributor Emma Charles.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

According to a statement from the band, the track "muses on the way in which some individuals struggle to cope with the political and social ideologies that exist within the architecture of a metropolis".

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

The idea of the video was "to try and portray something of the relationship between the aesthetic qualities of the buildings and actual 'living spaces'," Marsham told Dezeen.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

"The internal shots of the band playing were filmed in the kitchen of a warehouse conversion a couple of the band members were living in at the time," he explained.

"You have these external, quite sympathetic and elegiac shots of the forms of the buildings themselves and also a real depiction of an actual living space of the band. So there's something like a convergence between theory and reality."

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

All footage was captured over the course of one day with a tripod-mounted DSLR camera.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

"Asides from finding periods when it wasn’t raining, it was pretty simple. Simon had a list of places he wanted to film, so starting in the west, we worked our way across town. We just shot until it got dark," Charles told Dezeen.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

Large drapes painted with acrylic feature as both abstract close-ups and a backdrop for the band during the performance sections of the video.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

"We were kind of going for an architectural feel that echoed the video footage – silhouettes that represented buildings," set designer Lucy Anstey explained.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

Also featured in the video is blurred footage of a dreamachine – a revolving, cylinder with slits in its sides that omits light, causing optical effects when looked at through closed eyes.

"To me, the light effect it produced gave something of an otherwordly feel. However, the structure of the dreamachine was more interesting," said Marsham.

Omi Palone video by Simon Marsham

"It has an exact schematic that you're supposed to follow, and, when assembled, it did resemble some of the tower blocks we'd filmed."

Architecture is taken from Omi Palone's self-titled debut album, released in April last year.


Project credits

Director: Simon Marsham
Director of Photography: Emma Charles
Performance footage: Owen Richards
Editor: Emma Charles
Set: Lucy Anstey