Slated for completion in 2014, Melbourne-based ARM architects designed a building that dons the face of Australian indigenous leader William Barak. An architectural first, the portrait of the tribal chief will be sculpted across a 330 ft (100 meter) high facade using the building’s white concrete balconies.
William Barak was an elder of Melbourne’s Wurundjeri tribe and was instrumental in bridging the gulf between black and white cultures. Wurundjeri elder and Barak descendant Doreen Garvey-Wandin said it was time her great-great-grandfather was recognized in Wurundjeri territory. “We’re quite privileged to have his facial features looking over Melbourne, keeping an eye on us,” she said.
Daniel Grollo, chief executive of the project’s builder Grocon said, “There have been some concepts in the past for an image to be put on a building but no one has been brave enough to do it. The Shrine is about honoring a great set of Australians who made a sacrifice to Australia, and this is also honoring a great set of Australians who made a sacrifice for Australia.
”It’s not meant to be that from every angle you will get the perfect image of it; it’s that you will get the perfect image in glimpses.”