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Pharrell Williams is designing buildings now

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Are musicians the new architects?

Rendering of two modern buildings. Norm Li

Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D., The Voice, and hip-hop producing fame, has added another hyphen to his title: architectural consultant. For the last year, the musician has been working with Canadian developers and architects to plan two new residential towers in Toronto called Untitled.

Like Kanye West before him, Williams has carved out an unexpected niche in the design world as a general “creative mind” whose cultural cache and taste has won him collaborations with the likes of Chanel, Adidas, and Zaha Hadid Architects. Williams has no formal architectural training, but that makes no difference to the developers at Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties, who are clearly excited to sprinkle a little celebrity stardust on their new project.

“We believe by bringing in a cultural icon with vision and ideation from outside the realm of real estate it will allow us to break the mold in terms of what has traditionally been done,” said Reserve Properties CEO and president Sheldon Fenton.

Just how mold-breaking the buildings will be isn’t entirely clear at this point. A rendering shows a pair of buildings that soar into the air. Their facades are a stoney gray with glassy balconies that zigzag like a piece of paper that’s been unfolded.

Williams collaborated with architects at IBI Group and interior designers at U31, offering his perspective on everything from facade materials to interior furniture. “The opportunity to apply my ideas and viewpoint to the new medium of physical structures has been amazing,” he says.

From what we can tell, Williams’s entree into the medium of physical structures looks like it will be home to some slick, expensive apartments. The developers aren’t providing specifics on the design just yet, but they describe it as “universal,” “timeless,” and “singular.” Stay tuned.