Melbourne's newest landmark - building featuring face of indigenous icon

Written by: Nairita Das
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Melbourne, Sept 15 (ANI): Melbourne is set to have one of the most dramatic landmarks in the form of a high-rise apartment building bearing the image of an indigenous leader.

According to the Herald Sun, the proposed Portrait building, earmarked for the old Carlton brewery site, features a 32-storey portrait of Wurundjeri tribal leader and artist William Barak.

Developer Grocon says the apartment block will be a symbolic "bookend" for the city, paired with the Shrine of Remembrance in St Kilda Rd.

Wurundjeri elders have welcomed the plans, saying such a prominent tribute to Melbourne's first inhabitants had been a long time coming.

Grocon chief executive Daniel Grollo said the building's design was intended to "pay respect to both Barak and the Wurundjeri people", and was not a political statement.

"(But) I suspect a lot of people will read a whole lot of things into this," quoted him as saying.rollo said Barak's image would be visible along much of Swanston St, but difficult to make out close up.

"The beauty is that depending on where you see the building from ... sometimes you will see (the face) and sometimes you won't. That makes it very special," he stated.

Barak, who is renowned for working to bridge the divide between black and white Australia, died in 1903.

Architecture firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall, which also created some of Melbourne's most controversial buildings, including Federation Square and the Docklands' master plan, designed the Portrait building.

Grocon's Carlton Brewery general manager David Waldren said the building, which is awaiting a permit by Planning Minister Justin Madden, would hold 530 apartments priced between 295,000 dollars and 1 million dollars when complete in 2014. (ANI)

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