ShapeShell’s Freeform advanced composite has allowed architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM) to realise a striking design titled “Portrait” on the façade of the Swanston Square apartment tower.

Utilising an infused construction method, ShapeShell Freeform is a single unit with reinforcement and stiffness as part of the base structure – not as an addition or afterthought. The result is a material that provides amazing rigidity and strength despite being very light in weight.

No less than 411 double curved unique advanced composite panels were manufactured to create the 3D portrait of aboriginal elder William Barak. This is where ShapeShell Freeform’s ability to deliver millimetre accuracy in design (even across the most complex of shapes) was so important. Installed over 35 floors, no two panels are the same  - thus adding to the creativity and complexity of the project.

The ShapeShell Freeform panels that make up the Barak facade use structural skins to carry the load across all sides of the panel. This inhereent strength allowed slab edge fixing despite a considerable vertical cantilever of up to 2.5 metres.

The Barak façade at Swanston Square is a perfect example of ShapeShell living up to its promise of bridging creativity and buildability. For more information on the ShapeShell product range visit or email [email protected]