Double curved panels from the ShapeShell FreeForm range were used to create the 3D portrait of Aboriginal elder William Barak on the facade of a Melbourne building. Designed by architecture firm ARM and built by Probuild, the building is located on one of the main streets of the city.

About 411 double curved unique panels were manufactured and installed over 35 floors to create the ‘Barak Facade’; no two panels are the same, adding to the creativity and complexity of the project.

The ShapeShell FreeForm monocoque panels needed to have depth (thickness) and a solid construction (no hollow drum sound) while retaining the lightweight and structurally stiff characteristics to allow minimal fixing at the 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 or residual deformation. This strength allowed slab edge fixing of the panels despite a considerable vertical cantilever (up to 2.5 metres).