Barak Façade


Barak Façade, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia






No less than 411 double curved unique panels were manufactured to create the 3D portrait of Aboriginal elder William Barak as he gazes down one of the main streets of the city of Melbourne, Australia. Installed over over 35 floors, no two panel is the same, thus adding to the creativity and complexity of the project.

The ShapeShell freeform “monocoque” panels needed to have depth (thickness), be solid in construction (no hollow drum sound) yet lightweight and structurally stiff to allow minimal fixing only at slab edge.

The monocoque panels use structural skins to carry the load across all sides of the panel. The panels were independently tested and taken up to a load of 6.4 Kpa without any signs of damage (cosmetic or structural) nor residual deformation. The strength of the panels allowed slab edge fixing despite a considerable vertical cantilever (up to 2.5 metres).