The music video for “Popular” by The Weeknd, Madonna, and Playboi Carti features stunning architectural visuals. The architecture in the video not only serves as a backdrop for the musical performance but also plays a pivotal role in enhancing the aesthetic appeal and elegance of the scenes.

Madonna: Ageless Beauty

Madonna’s appearance in the video exemplifies the idea that age is just a number. With her radiant and youthful skin, she stands out alongside The Weeknd and Playboi Carti, reflecting the harmony between generations in the world of music and art.

Filming Location

The music video for “Popular” was filmed in the iconic Hearst Castle, located in San Simeon, California. This castle is a prime example of opulent architecture and intricate design. Hearst Castle, originally constructed for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, was designed by architect Julia Morgan. The construction began in 1919 and continued until 1947. The castle is renowned for its grandiose style, blending various architectural influences from Gothic to Renaissance.

The music video for “Popular” by The Weeknd featuring Madonna and Playboi Carti was filmed in multiple luxurious settings. The Weeknd is shown in a grand mansion, Madonna in a penthouse, and Playboi Carti in an opulent space. The mansion scenes, featuring intricate architectural details such as gold ceilings and classic black-and-white tiled floors, were particularly noteworthy.

The mansion used for the video’s filming is the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, a historic hotel known for its opulent architecture and celebrity history. Built in 1929, the Chateau Marmont was designed by Arnold A. Weitzman and William Douglas Lee in a Gothic Revival style, inspired by the Chateau d’Amboise in France. It has since become an iconic landmark, embodying Hollywood glamour.

The gold ceiling in the mansion highlights the luxurious feel of the location, complementing the classic black-and-white tiled floors that exude timeless elegance. This juxtaposition of elements creates a visually stunning and architecturally rich environment that enhances the video’s aesthetic appeal.

In summary, the video leverages the grandeur of Chateau Marmont to create a visually compelling narrative, blending modern music with classic architectural beauty, making it a feast for the eyes and a testament to the power of thoughtful design in music videos.

The Golden Ceiling

One of the standout architectural features in the video is the golden ceiling. This ceiling boasts intricate designs and gilded decorations, exuding a regal aura. The use of gold in the ceiling symbolizes luxury and sophistication, adding a gleaming brilliance to the scenes.

Black and White Tiled Floor

The black and white tiled floor is another prominent feature in the castle’s interior design. This flooring, reminiscent of classical European styles, adds a striking contrast and showcases refined taste in interior design. The black and white tiles create a sense of harmony and balance within the grand rooms, enhancing the classical architectural elegance.

Classical Architectural Style

Hearst Castle’s classical architecture is evident in numerous details, from the massive marble columns to the windows adorned with golden frames. The large windows allow natural light to flood in, highlighting the beautiful colors and intricate decorations within the castle. The luxurious furniture and elegant decor complete the overall aesthetic, making it an ideal location for a music video with a regal and opulent theme.

Detailed Architectural Elements of Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the most famous architectural landmarks in California. The castle comprises 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways. Key architectural features include:

  • Neptune Pool: A magnificent outdoor swimming pool adorned with Roman-style columns and statues. The pool area underwent multiple redesigns, finally completed in 1936.
  • Roman Pool: An indoor pool decorated with intricate mosaics and lined with statues, reflecting a luxurious Roman bathhouse.
  • Casa Grande: The main building, featuring 38 bedrooms, 30 fireplaces, 42 bathrooms, and multiple libraries, is a testament to grandiose architecture.
  • Architectural Influences: Hearst Castle’s design incorporates elements from Spanish Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Moorish Revival styles, creating a unique and eclectic aesthetic.

Architectural Details and Furnishings

The castle is filled with European antiques, art pieces, and decorative items collected by Hearst. Some notable features include:

  • Ceilings: Many rooms feature elaborately carved and painted wooden ceilings, some of which are original artifacts imported from Europe.
  • Tapestries and Paintings: The walls are adorned with valuable tapestries and paintings, adding to the castle’s luxurious ambiance.
  • Gardens and Terraces: The meticulously maintained gardens and terraces provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape, enhancing the castle’s grandeur.


The “Popular” music video is not just a visual treat but an architectural masterpiece showcasing the grandeur and elegance of Hearst Castle. With its golden ceilings, black and white tiled floors, and classical architectural style, the castle serves as a perfect backdrop for the music video, reflecting opulence and sophistication. Madonna’s appearance, with her youthful and radiant look, adds to the video’s appeal, emphasizing that age is just a number. The blend of classical and modern elements in the architecture and the performances creates a captivating and visually stunning experience.


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