ROCK star David Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust burst on to the music scene almost 40 years ago.
But some Prahran residents are bemused that the space age character is to make a big comeback on a five-story apartment block.
A giant image of Ziggy will dominate four levels of the $10 million Tatu building planned for Macquarie St. It will appear on a perforated metal screen and Bowie’s eyes and lips will move when apartment residents adjust screens on their balconies.
Developer Donald Musto said the design was different to the famous Pamela Anderson image on glass at Sam Newman’s former St Kilda residence.
It also resembles the 100m-high image of indigenous leader William Barak on Grocon’s proposed Portrait building on Swanston St.
“It plays with the image in a streetscape sense,” he said.
“I am a Bowie fan, but not ridiculously - it was just an image that we thought spanned a wide generational group.”
A dozen locals objected to the development, mainly over height and car parking.
But one neighbour, who asked not to be identified, said the Ziggy concept had raised a few eyebrows.
“I’ve heard a few comments like ‘What were they thinking, it’s pretty out-there’,” she said.
“With the height of the building and the size of the image, I imagine it will stand out a lot. It could be quite an eyesore.”
Mr Musto said he and partner Phillip Maynes had engaged cutting-edge designers to give Tatu a point of difference. Another portrait of Bowie made from tiny dots will hang in the lobby.
Stonnington Council rejected the plan, but the decision was overturned by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Stonnington CEO Warren Roberts said the proposed building height was excessive and would result in unreasonable visual bulk in the streetscape.
Mr Roberts said the original plans featured the face of pop artist Andy Warhol.
Work on the 18-unit development is expected to start in February.