The Face of Melbourne

The Face of Melbourne
The Face of Melbourne

The first time I noticed the building was from the ANZAC memorial, far off in the distance a black and white face 32 storeys tall staring back at me. It was far away but I could make out the portrait clearly. I was intrigued and needed to know more about the building and, more importantly, whose face it was.

The Face of Melbourne

The face belonged to a man named William Barak.

The Face of Melbourne

William Barak

William Barak was born into the Wurundjeri clan in 1823. After serving as a tracker in the Native Police at 19 he followed in his fathers footsteps and became ngurungaeta or clan leader. Throughout his life he became a political leader and spokesman for his people, becoming a prominent figure in the struggle for Aboriginal rights and justice.

Barak lived during a time of great change. During his lifetime the number of white people living in southern Australia had climbed from almost none to over a million. As a young boy he witnessed the signing of John Batman’s 1835’s land purchase contract, which would have large consequences for his people.

The Face of Melbourne

Today Barak is remembered for his artwork. They depict indigenous life during that time and their encounters with Europeans, many of which have a permanent place in the National Gallery of Australia.

The Face of Melbourne

During the few days I was in Melbourne I came across the building a number of times, mostly by accident, but it was always a pleasant surprise. The building uses shadows created by negative space and white balconies to form the portrait of William Barak which can be seen from many angles.

Though having the face stand out in the Melbourne skyline is an example of times changing many feel that displaying the face of an Aboriginal elder and land rights activist on the front of high-end city real estate is a huge juxtaposition.

The Face of Melbourne

Being in Melbourne was the first time I had seen an example of architecture like this. Have you heard or know of any other examples of people or faces used in architecture? Share them in the comments below, I would be interested to see them.

Further Reading:

Views of the building from above and why Melbourne’s new William Barak building is a cruel juxtaposition from  The Conversation

Enjoy views of Melbourne from the balcony on armarchtecture.com.au

My History of Australian Aboriginals and their part in Tourism in Australia.

A more extensive look at the life of William Barak.

Melbourne Then and Now

My first day in Melbourne I knew exactly where I wanted to go. From my time there eight years ago I had become familiar with the city and knew that one of the best views was found from the roof of the ANZAC memorial, a 15 minute walk from the construction site that was currently covering Flinders Street Station.

In 2009 a friend encouraged me to travel to Australia and I did. I stayed for two years working and traveling around the country, before returning home. During that time I got to know Australia very well and made some great friends. It was a shame to leave but I knew some day I would be back, even if it was only to visit.

That very friend was now getting married and I was in Melbourne again, walking similar footsteps to those I had trod for the first time years ago and seeing those familiar sights.

Melbourne Then and Now

I would be spending a few days exploring Melbourne before travelling down to the Mornington Peninsula to meet my friend and his future wife, then the wedding would be held there in a couple of weeks.

But first I had to see melbourne.

The weather was overcast but that didn’t spoil the view. From the roof of the memorial you can see 360 degrees, but looking north across Melbourne’s skyline was by far the best. I tried to think back to the last time I stood here and wondered what had changed since then.

There was only one thing that I could notice. Straight down the middle, a building I am sure I would have remembered if I had seen it before. Can you spot it?

Melbourne Then and Now
Melbourne Then and Now

Melbourne 2009

Melbourne Then and Now

Melbourne 2017

Of course the two photos are taken years apart on two different cameras but look closely at the skyline and see if you can see the face of an unknown person. I was intrigued by the building and its mysterious face, during my few days in Melbourne it became an obsession. I had to know more.

Tuned in for my next post for more about the face in Melbourne’s skyline.

Take a look at the two views and let me know if there are any other differences you an spot.

 

Eureka Tower in Melbourne

Eureka Tower is a 297m tall residential building in Melbourne. When it was completed in 2006 it was the tallest residential building in the world but since the building boom in Dubai it is now the 14th. Even though it is no longer the tallest in the world the Eureka Tower still stands out among the Melbourne skyline. It can be seen from all over the city and that may be because of its size or because of the golden top floors shinning in the Australian sun.

© Our Shadows Will Remain

And the view from the observation deck on the 88th floor is equally as impressive with views all over Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs. See for yourself.

Eureka Tower in Melbourne

Crossing the Nullarbor: A photo Journal

We actually started driving from Melbourne but after taking a detour along The Great Ocean Road and stopping off in Adelaide it was time to make the drive. Crossing the Nullarbor starts from Ceduna when heading East to West, this is the last town you will see until Norseman in WA 1200km away. Ceduna  is also the start of the Nullarbor Links, the Worlds Longest Golf Course that we intended on playing to break up the journey.

Due to Kangaroos it was risky to drive through the night and since we were heading West we spent most of the time driving into the setting sun. Officially the Nullarbor ends in Norseman but we continued to Perth. The drive took us three days and during that time I took photographs from the backseat every hour to see how the landscaped changed throughout the journey.

I had heard many things about the Nullarbor before leaving and the main thing people told me was there is nothing out there. After reaching Perth I can say that’s not necessarily true. There are things you will see crossing the Nullarbor that you won’t see anywhere else in the world, the Great Australian Bight, 90 Mile Straight and of course the Worlds Longest Golf Course.

Below is the photo journal of our drive, see for yourself if the landscape changes while crossing the Nullarbor and if you look closely you can get a small insight into our life on the road.

Crossing the Nullarbor

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© Our Shadows Will Remain