|List||National Heritage List|
|Legal Status||Listed place (25/04/2006)|
|Place File No||8/01/000/0131|
|Summary Statement of Significance|
War Memorial (AWM) is Australia's
national shrine to those Australians who lost their lives and suffered as a
result of war. As such it is important
to the Australian community as a whole and has special associations with
veterans and their families including the Returned & Services League of
Australia. These special associations
are reinforced on ANZAC Day and at ceremonies specific to particular memorials
on Anzac Parade.
The AWM in its setting was a direct consequence of the First World War, one of the seminal events in Australian history. Official war correspondent, Charles Bean, believed that the war would have a strong influence on the creation of a sense of nationhood and a distinctly Australian character and identity. Bean’s vision of a war memorial as a place to house the objects made sacred by their direct association with the events and sacrifice of Australians at war was embodied in the establishment of the AWM. A purpose built repository, the AWM is a place where the nature of commemoration was based on an integral relationship between the building, commemorative spaces and the collections of objects and records. This is rare in Australia and uncommon in the world. The AWM has a unique and important function in collecting and displaying objects and records of Australians’ experience of war. It has the potential to yield information that will contribute to Australia’s social, political and military history.
The role of the AWM with its central location in the nation’s capital is an important landmark in Australia and a popular national icon. Although the AWM was not part of the original design for Canberra, Walter Burley Griffin agreed that it would be a fitting structure for its prominent position. The surrounding landscape design, indigenous and exotic plantings and setting and sympathetic location of associated structures and the symmetry of land axis have maintained the importance of the views of the AWM and its dominance in the landscape. As the terminating building at the northern end of the land axis of Griffin's plan for Canberra, the AWM makes a major contribution to the principal views from both Parliament Houses and from Mount Ainslie. Major features of the original site include: the main building; the external fabric; the ceremonial landscape including indigenous and exotic plantings immediately in front of the main building; the Lone Pine tree; and displays and sculptures. The Hall of Memory with the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier and in conjunction with aspects of its setting, demonstrates changing and evolving concepts of commemoration. The courtyard and its honour colonnade, the reflection pool and plantings contribute to its outstanding significance.
The AWM in its setting is of outstanding importance for its aesthetic characteristics. The place is highly valued for its great beauty by the Australian community and veteran groups. The main building and the surrounding landscape, the Hall of Memory, the Roll of Honour, ANZAC Hall and the collections act as reminders of important events and people in Australia's history. The AWM triggers disturbing and poignant responses from the vast majority of visitors and has also inspired artistic works such as paintings and photographs.
The AWM and Anzac Parade have special associations with Australia’s military forces and with veterans as represented by the Returned & Services League of Australia and community groups. Anzac Parade was opened on ANZAC Day 1965, the fiftieth anniversary of the landing of the ANZAC's at Gallipoli. It is the setting for a series of memorials commemorating Australian service and sacrifice in war and is the major national venue for the ANZAC Day march and other ceremonies to commemorate those who served Australia in times of conflict. Anzac Parade, as part of the Parliamentary Vista and as an extension of the AWM, has a deep symbolism for many Australians, and has become part of one of the major cultural landscapes of Australia. The notion of a ceremonial space of this grandeur is not found elsewhere in Australia and Anzac Parade is nationally important for its public and commemorative functions. The memorials along Anzac Parade also demonstrate changing and evolving concepts of commemoration, under the influence of veteran, community and migrant groups and the armed forces. The AWM has special associations with Charles Bean, John Treloar and Sir Henry Gullett who contributed to building the national identity through their work.
Griffin’s plans for the central national area of Canberra included a basic framework which survives to the present. An alignment of land and water axes and avenues defined Griffin's city plan. The axes together with the triangle bounded by Commonwealth Avenue, Constitution Avenue and Kings Avenue were the basic elements that established Canberra's geometric design pattern. The design represented Griffin's interpretation of democracy and created three urban centres connected by its main avenues: Capital Hill as the place for the people; Mount Vernon as the municipal centre; and Mount Pleasant as the market centre. The northern avenue, Constitution Avenue, was the municipal axis. The AWM is located at the northern end of the land axis, the major planning axis that runs from Parliament House, through Federation Mall and Parkes Place and along Anzac Parade to Mount Ainslie. The AWM has an elevated position at the end of Anzac Parade and is framed by Mount Ainslie in the background. It is a powerful form within the axial landscape of Canberra (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 42-44; Freeman, 2004: 4). Australian planners have followed Griffin’s vision but with minor changes in terms of impact to reflect historical events and Australian political and social life.
Australian War Memorial
The site of the AWM is the area bounded by Limestone Avenue, Fairbairn Avenue and Treloar Crescent. The AWM is part of a larger landscape which is structured by Griffin’s land axis and includes Anzac Park, Anzac Parade, Remembrance Park on the slopes of Mount Ainslie behind the AWM, Mount Pleasant and Black Mountain. The AWM is closely associated with memorials along Anzac Parade that commemorate important aspects of Australia's involvement in war.
The AWM is a unique commemorative institution that functions as a memorial, a museum, an archive and a centre for research. The complex includes commemorative areas, a Sculpture Garden, gallery exhibits, research facilities, an administration building and a kiosk. The major commemorative spaces are the grand entrance, the central courtyard and Pool of Remembrance, the flanking cloisters with the Roll of Honour and the copper domed Hall of Memory.
The main building is stone faced, designed in the art deco style and has a cruciform plan with two floors of galleries, a library, war records storage, office space and workshop facilities. The building displays Byzantine modelling in its interpenetrating forms and the front entrance shows Egyptian influences in its pylons and massing. Important features of the style include: a stepped skyline; concentration of ornament on the upper part of the building; a tower feature; and a monumental entrance. Two medieval stone lions, donated by the city of Ypres in 1936, are located in the entrance area. The lions previously stood at the gateway of the Menin road at Ypres and were damaged during the First World War. The Hall of Memory, with its stepped cubic forms and copper dome, is the key architectural and landmark element of the place. As the major vertical element in the architectural composition, it closes the view from within the courtyard and is a prominent terminating feature of the land axis and Canberra’s landscape setting. The mosaics and stained glass windows within the hall are outstanding pieces of monumental applied art in the art deco style. The Roll of Honour is an important historical monument and visual statement of Australians who died in war. It is a key element of the founding concept for the AWM, even though it was not installed until the 1960s.
Hall of Memory
The Hall of Memory is an important symbolic space in the AWM comprising several outstanding pieces. It was originally conceived by Sodersteen as containing a roll of honour but funds were not available to build a dome that could house all the names. The design was amended to include the names in a commemorative courtyard. In 1937 the AWM Board agreed to complete the hall by installing a sculpture, stained glass windows and mosaics. Designed by Napier Waller, the windows reflect the First World War and the mosaics on the dome pendentives represent the four arms of the services, including women's services. The mosaic inside the dome depicts the souls of the dead rising from the earth towards their spiritual home, represented by a glowing sun within the Southern Cross. The figures on the walls – a soldier, a sailor, an airman and a servicewoman – recall the Australian experience of the Second World War. Over six million pieces of glass tesserae, or tiles, imported from Italy, were used in the composition; the installation was overseen by Italian craftsmen and took three years to complete. Leslie Bowles was commissioned for the sculpture but his designs were all rejected before he passed away. Ray Ewers later produced a statue of a young soldier which was installed in 1955. The statue was removed and relocated in the Sculpture Garden in 1993 to accommodate the new Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. Four pillars behind the tomb, designed by Janet Laurence, represent the ancient elements of earth, air, fire and water, symbolising the variety of terrain and climate where Australians served and died. The hall has since functioned as a mausoleum, as a quiet place for contemplation of the efforts of ordinary Australians in war and remembrance of those who suffered and died (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 19-24).
Courtyard and Roll of Honour
The courtyard with its cloisters, Roll of Honour and Pool of Reflection evolved from Crust's design collaboration with Sodersteen. A stepped granite cascade designed by Robert Woodward was added at the northern end of the pool in 1980 and this was replaced in 1988 by an eternal flame. At the southern end of the pool is the Inauguration Stone and the courtyard is flanked with twenty-six carved sandstone gargoyles designed by Bowles. The Roll of Honour was completed in 1967 and contains the names of over 120,000 Australians killed in war, from the Sudan in 1855 to the Vietnam War in the 1970s. A Commemorative Book was established in 1975 to list Australians who died as a result of any war. Between 1979 and 1988 the names of theatres of war were inscribed in bronze letters on the courtyard walls. Rosemary and Pencil Pines used in the courtyard are symbolically associated with remembrance and sacrifice (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 24-27).
Galleries and collections
A series of galleries and displays exhibit artefacts related to Australia's involvement in war and form a major component of the AWM. The galleries are an integral aspect of the AWM’s commemorative and museum functions to remember and increase an understanding of Australians’ involvement in war. This includes outstanding dioramas and picture models dating from 1920 through to 1983. Several dioramas (four large, six small and two very small series) constructed prior to the opening of the AWM have survived with modifications. The building initially made extensive use of skylights for galleries and diorama displays but these were modified after conservation problems arose. In 1968-71 major alterations included the extension of the transept wings which provided additional gallery space and the closing of skylights in favour of artificial lighting. Most of the galleries have been altered significantly since their construction. The Sinai Palestine Gallery, in situ since 1941, is largely intact, including the original ceiling pattern and rubber tile flooring (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 25-27). Internal alterations in 1996-97 retained the Sinai Palestine Gallery.
The AWM houses an extensive and unique collection of artefacts and records on Australians’ experience of war. These comprise: films, photographs and sound recordings (including unedited material taken by official cameramen and private individuals, commercial documentaries, oral histories, radio interviews, period music); printed and ephemeral materials (such as official records, diaries, postcards); military heraldry; tens of thousands military technology objects; dioramas and other models; and artworks including those that originated in the official war art schemes. The AWM has the nation’s largest archive of the writings of ordinary Australians on their experience of war (AWM web site). The First World War dioramas are significant icons as: rare surviving examples of artist created three dimensional display models; documents that were specifically created to record historical events; and highly creative interpretive devices. The Battle of Romani, the last large diorama, and the Transport diorama series are in their original location in the Sinai Gallery.
ANZAC Hall was built as a modern, flexible exhibition hall of 3,000 square metres to display the AWM's collection of large technology objects. The design of a high curved wall of aerodynamic plan form some 20 metres behind the main building provided space and retained the view of the original building ‘in the round’, as originally intended by Sodersteen and Crust. The hall sits unobtrusively behind the iconic main building. The fan shaped bulk of the building was excavated in the hillside, so that it would have the minimum impact on views from Anzac Parade, with a large curved metal roof fanning out from the centre point of a dome behind the wall. A simple steel/glass bridge link joins the existing building to the new hall. The stone, concrete, metal and glass of the new hall enable the new forms to ‘meld’ appropriately with the heritage values of the main building and its landscape setting. In 2005, ANZAC Hall received the RAIA’s Sir Zelman Cowen Award for public buildings for its design excellence (Architecture Australia 2005: 56-61).
C E W Bean Building
The building, designed by Denton Corker Marshall Architects, was completed in March 2006. The design, the location and external finishes are compatible with other AWM buildings. The building comprises a simple masonry flat roofed block embedded into the landscape behind a stone embankment. It is situated to the east of the AWM and is connected to it by an underground tunnel. Due to the topography, most of the lower storey is below ground level. The building's parapet height aligns with the main mid level parapet of the AWM building. It is set back nine metres from the existing road kerb adjacent to the stone embankment. The building houses paper based collections, facilities for the photographic laboratories, a workshop and staff. The tunnel allows for the safe movement of collections.
The open landscape surrounding the main building and the natural landscape of the Mount Ainslie backdrop are important features of the complex. Eucalypts and wattles are planted to the east of the building, giving an appearance of an extension of the natural vegetation of Mount Ainslie as proposed in the 1952 plans. To the west of the building are mixed exotic plantings of deciduous and coniferous trees including the Lone Pine (Ratcliffe 1993). The Lone Pine tree was planted by the Duke of Gloucester in 1934 in memory of all sons who died in the Lone Pine attack in Gallipoli (1915). An Australian soldier who took part in the campaign in which his brother was killed, collected seed from one of the branches of an Aleppo pine used by the Turks as overhead cover for their trenches. His mother raised a tree from the seed and presented it to the AWM (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 44).
The ceremonial landscape immediately in front of the main building takes the form of an amphitheatre with central steps leading up to the AWM. There are paved and grassed terraces each side of the steps and the focus of the amphitheatre is the Stone of Remembrance. Remembrance Park contains two Victoria Cross memorials and a commemorative plaque marking the end of the Remembrance driveway (2002) that links Canberra to Sydney. Five trees that commemorate various branches of the armed forces were originally planted along the western side of the AWM but have since been relocated to enhance the visual interpretation of the main building. A Sculpture Garden, located to the west of the main building, features Sir Bertram Mackennal’s famous 1906 War sculpture portraying Bellona, the Roman goddess of war, and the Merchant Seamen Roll of Honour on either side of the sculpture. Other commemorative works include memorial plaques and memorials to the British Commonwealth Occupation Force and to Australian servicewomen and important sculptures such as Simpson and his donkey, Australian serviceman, and Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop. Further memorials are expected to be located in the area. The surrounding landscape also includes a large gun from HMAS Adelaide and First World War one guns. The courtyard between the AWM building and ANZAC Hall is planted with pencil pines.
Anzac Parade is one of the major cultural landscapes of Australia. It is a broad ceremonial avenue named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Set along the land axis – a key feature of Griffin’s 1912 plan – it stretches from near the north shore of Lake Burley Griffin to the foot of the AWM, along the line of sight from Parliament House. Along each side of the road is a row of 11 memorials commemorating specific military campaigns or services. They are mostly sculptures in a variety of styles ranging from naturalistic to Modernist. The memorials relate to Anzac Parade and Anzac Park: both sides of Anzac Parade are bounded by Anzac Park; the tree-covered, sloping grassy strips at the interface of the parade and the park feature 10 symmetrically placed aprons prepared for national memorials. Anzac Parade is a distinguishable landmark, particularly from Mount Ainslie. The red gravel (some say symbolising blood) and the mixed plantings of Australian blue gums and New Zealand Hebe species link the parliamentary zone to the northern lakeshore.
Desert Mounted Corps Memorial (also known as the ‘Light Horse Memorial’, 1968)
The memorial commemorates Australians and New Zealanders who served in Egypt, Palestine and Syria from 1916-1918. Designed by sculptor Ray Ewers OAM, the memorial is a free-standing, cast bronze figurative sculpture on a granite base. It depicts an Australian Light Horseman defending a New Zealander beside his wounded horse. The memorial is a recreation of a memorial in Port Said in Egypt which was destroyed during the 1956 Suez Crisis.
Royal Australian Air Force Memorial (1981, altered in 2001)
The memorial commemorates the Royal Australian Air Force’s 50th anniversary and honours those who served throughout its history. Designed by sculptor Inge King, it features three upward-surging wing shapes in stainless steel, representing endurance, strength and courage of the personnel. The bronze flight image at the centre of the composition embodies the struggle to conquer the elements.
Rats of Tobruk Memorial (1984)
The memorial commemorates Australians who fought against the Germans and their allies in the siege of Tobruk in 1941. Designed by architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd, the memorial takes the form of an obelisk. Surrounding walls portray perimeter defences and the area of the siege. The bronze Eternal Flame was created by Marc Clark. The memorial is a replica of one that was built by Australian soldiers during the siege in the Tobruk War Cemetery which has since been destroyed. An inscription stone, all that survives of the original memorial, is incorporated into the new memorial.
Kemal Ataturk Memorial (1985)
The memorial honours Kemal Ataturk and the heroism and self-sacrifice of ANZAC and Turkish troops during the Gallipoli campaign. Designed by architectural firm PDCM Pty Ltd, the memorial consists of a crescent-shaped wall surrounding a cobble paved area. The wall represents the crescent symbol and five pointed star of the Turkish flag. The centre of the memorial includes a capsule of soil from the Gallipoli battlefields. A bronze portrait of Ataturk, designed by Turkish sculptor Huzeyin Gezer, is mounted on the wall. Underneath is an inscription of Ataturk’s words that pay tribute to the ANZACs and reflect on the awful cost of war. Surrounding the memorial are pine trees grown from seed collected from the Gallipoli ‘lone pine’.
Royal Australian Navy Memorial (also known as ‘Sailors and Ships – Interaction and Interdependence’, 1986)
The memorial commemorates those serving with the Royal Australian Navy throughout its history including during the First World War, the Second World War, the Malayan Emergency and Korean and the Vietnam and Gulf wars. Designed by Ante Dabro in collaboration with Lester Firth and Associates and Robin Woodward, the memorial comprises bronze figures that represent the daily activities of naval life. Moving water complements the dynamics of the sculpture.
Australian Hellenic Memorial (1988)
The memorial commemorates those who died in campaigns in Greece and Crete (1941). Designed by architects Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley Pty Ltd, the marble memorial evokes an amphitheatre set in an olive grove. The short Doric column symbolises the birth of civilisation and is set in a mosaic pavement designed by Mary Hall. Damaged steel fragments echo the futility of war and its destructive effects.
Australian Army Memorial (1989)
The memorial recognises the contribution of Australian soldiers for their service and excellence in all theatres of war. Designed by sculptors Charles Smith and Joan Walsh Smith in collaboration with architects Ken Maher and Partners, the memorial comprises two bronze figures representing Australian soldiers facing east towards the rising sun. Seven cylindrical pillars set in water recall the seven major overseas conflicts and the long sea voyages involved in all Australian campaigns. The memorial reminds the visitor of the importance of the Australian ‘digger’ and his role in the formation of the national character and sentiment.
Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial (1992)
The memorial commemorates the 50,000 Australians who fought in the Vietnam War. It was designed by architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Harford and sculptor Ken Unsworth AM. Three concrete stellae, rising from a shallow moat, form a dramatic centre and enclose a contemplative space. The wall has inscriptions that recall political and military events and an etched photograph shows Australian troops waiting to be airlifted to Nui Dat, after Operation Ulmarrah. Suspended from pillars is a halo of stones and a scroll, containing the names of Australians who died, is sealed into the stones. Surrounding the memorial are six empty seats dedicated to the six servicemen missing in action.
Australian Service Nurses Memorial (1999)
The memorial honours past and present service nurses, who have cared for the sick and wounded since the South African War. Designed by Robin Moorhouse, in conjunction with Monumental Design, the memorial is made of etched glass, with text and images cast into the inner walls that portray the history and contribution of Australian Service Nursing. The memorial includes a collage of photographs and diary extracts and letters in original handwriting. Interlocking glass panels symbolise the nurturing hands of nursing.
Australian National Korean Memorial (2000)
The memorial commemorates those who served in the Korean War. It was designed by the ANKWEM Design Group, in conjunction with the architectural firm of Daryl Jackson Pty Ltd, and in accordance with the requirements of the Australia National Korean Memorial Committee. A central walkway leads to a semi-enclosed contemplative space featuring a Korean boulder and a statement in Korean script representing peace and independence. The use of granite, gravel and white and grey tones in the memorial recalls the harsh Korean climate and terrain – the lasting impressions of those who fought there. A scroll represents the 21 countries that were involved in the war and bronze figures represent the involvement of 17,000 Australians. Fields of stainless steel posts symbolise those who died and an obelisk commemorates those who died with no known grave. The inscription, taken from the United Nations memorial Cemetery in Pusan, creates a link with the Australians buried there.
New Zealand Memorial (2001)
The memorial commemorates the long co-operation between Australian and New Zealand and the ANZAC experience. A gift from the New Zealand Government, it was designed by Kingsley Baird and Studio Pacific Architecture from New Zealand. The memorial is a bronze representation of the handles of a flax basket, an important element of New Zealand culture. It is 11 metres high and stretches as if to cross Anzac Parade. At the base of each handle is a paved gathering space, that are landscaped areas with Maori and Aboriginal artworks. At the centre of the paving on each side is buried soil from Gallipoli, the birth of the ANZAC tradition, and the names of the campaigns where New Zealanders and Australians fought together are inscribed on the paving. The memorial’s basket handles symbolise cooperation, mutual experiences and sharing the load.
The concept of a national war
museum to commemorate the sacrifice and loss of Australians in the war*
originated in London with Australia’s official war correspondent, Charles
Bean, and officers of the AIF during the First World War. The
idea took hold while Bean was visiting Pozières in France, where Australia suffered 23,000
casualties in less than seven weeks of fighting in 1916. Bean's idea was to set aside a place in
Australia where families and friends could grieve for those buried in places
far away and difficult to visit – a place that would also contribute to
an understanding of war itself. His
vision evolved over the following years for a national memorial to function as
both a shrine for those who died in the war and to house relics and trophies
from the battlefields. Bean was later
commissioned to write the official history of the First World War and was
active in establishing a war records body in Australia. Australia
gained control of Australia’s
war records from 1916 and John Treloar was appointed
to head a new Australian War Records Section in May 1917. In early 1917 the Commonwealth Government
gave support for Bean's concept of a national war memorial in Canberra.
The Australian War Museum Committee (AWMC) was established in 1919 and
Henry Gullett was appointed as the Director. |
The Federal Capital Territory (later the Australian Capital Territory) was created as the nation’s capital in Canberra in 1911. Walter Burley Griffin won the international competition for the design in 1912 and his design was revised and gazetted in 1918. He proposed a central area featuring a series of artificially modelled lake basins and a land axis extending from Mount Ainslie, through the centre of a group of government buildings on the south side of the proposed central lake basin. A national war memorial/museum was not part of Griffin’s plan. Following Griffin’s departure in 1920, the development of Canberra was taken over by the Federal Capital Advisory Committee, chaired by architect and planner, John Sulman.
A Canberra site for the national war memorial was first considered in about 1919 and the Commonwealth Government later announced the site at the northern end of the land axis below Mount Ainslie. In 1923, Bean and the AWMC indicated their preference to the Federal Capital Advisory Committee for the national war memorial and its collection* – it should ‘not be colossal in scale, but rather a gem of its kind’. The building should be ‘in the nature of a temple surrounded by a garden of its own’ and the collection should not be massive as might be expected in Britain, France or America (McKernan 1991: 94-95). The Australian War Memorial (AWM) was constituted under the Australian War Memorial Act 1925 and it was given a prominent and symbolic site on Griffin’s land axis, opposite Parliament House and separate from the governmental and civic groups. This was similar to Lutyen’s New Delhi, where the All-India War Memorial Arch (1921-31) and the Viceroy’s Palace were to face each other at opposite ends of a ceremonial avenue. Griffin supported the prominent siting of the AWM. The project was to cost no more than £250,000.
The competition for the AWM was conducted in 1925-26. The entries were assessed by Professor Leslie Wilkinson, Sir Charles Rosenthal and John Smith Murdoch (Commonwealth’s Director-General of Works). Short listed entries were sent to London for adjudication by Sir Reginald Blomfield, designer of works for the Imperial War Graves Commission. None of the entries met all of the competition conditions and no winner was announced. Two competitors, Emil Sodersteen and John Crust, were asked to develop a new collaborative design to incorporate Sodersteen’s architectural style and Crust’s innovative and cost cutting approach. Sodersteen and Crust presented their design in 1927. The architectural style was primarily Sodersteen's and drew on the recent art deco style, while the form of the building was strongly influenced by Crust's intention to incorporate a commemorative courtyard for the Roll of Honour (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 10-11; Inglis 1998: 341). The competition committee also had an influence on the design.
Construction began in early 1928 but was curtailed and postponed by the onset of the Depression. In 1934 work started again in a limited way by builders Simmie and Company. The design underwent many changes throughout its fourteen years of construction and major details were not resolved until 1938. Crust supervised the completion of the building following disputes between Sodersteen and the AWM Board, and Sodersteen and Crust, which resulted in Sodersteen’s resignation in 1938 (McKernan 1991: 10). In 1935, the collections and staff were moved into parts of the building. The AWM was officially opened on 11 November 1941 although some areas were not completed until many years later. At this time, the AWM comprised the main building, a ‘gun park’ enclosure at the rear of the building, the commemorative stone for the building (1929) and the Lone Pine tree (1934). The Roll of Honour was not yet completed in the cloisters, the Hall of Memory was unbuilt and the grounds were not yet landscaped.
The AWM’s role has expanded several times since its opening and extensions were made to the building to reflect this. The legislation was amended in 1941 to include Australia’s involvement in the Second World War and plans to extend the building were prepared from 1947 but these were not built for some years. In 1952, the AWM’s role was expanded to include Australia’s involvement in all armed conflicts, and this was further broadened in 1973 to allow the commemoration of Australians who were not in the armed forces. Key changes to the AWM since its opening have included: the Administration Building designed by Denton Corker and Marshall (1988); installation of stained glass windows in the Hall of Memory (1950); installation of Ewer’s statue in the Hall of Memory (1955); installation of mosaics in the Hall of Memory (1955-58); opening of the Hall of Memory (1959); completion of the Roll of Honour (1967); major extensions (1968-71); alterations including new stairs, theatre, western entrance and a bookshop (1983-84); and removal of Ewer’s stature; and the interment of an AIF soldier into the newly constructed Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier in the Hall of Memory (Armistice Day 1993). ANZAC Hall, a new exhibition space to house the AWM’s large technology objects, was designed by Denton Corker and Marshall in 1999 and completed in 2001.
The design and installation of the AWM’s landscaping has undergone substantial changes. The open landscape surrounding the main building initially reflected Crust and Parramore’s 1940 design but this was modified by later works. From 1942-45, the commemorative courtyard was the venue for ANZAC Day and commemorative services. A new setting was needed when it could no longer accommodate everyone who wished to attend. In 1959 Meldrum and Noad designed an amphitheatre and parade ground for commemorative services. Roads and car parks for the AWM were planned in 1965-69 and the paved display area to the west of the building dates from the late 1960s (Pearson & Crocket 1995: 42-44; Freeman 2004: 4). In 1999 a new Sculpture Garden, based on a design by JFW Architects, was opened to the west of the main building.
Anzac Park and Anzac Parade were created in the 1960s and have become important settings for war memorials commemorating Australian’s involvement in war. The National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) architects and landscape architects Gareth Roberts and Richard Clough collaborated on the design of Anzac Parade and its architectural elements, as part of the 1961 wider proposals for Commonwealth Park and Lake Burley Griffin foreshores. Two portal buildings, Anzac Park East and Anzac Park West, were completed in 1965 and 1966 respectively. Queen Elizabeth II opened Anzac Parade on ANZAC Day 1965 – the fiftieth anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli. Since the 1960s, a series of memorials have evolved along each side of Anzac Parade under the auspices of the NCDC and the National Capital Authority. Anzac Parade is the major national venue for the Anzac Day march and other ceremonies to commemorate those who served Australia in times of war. The AWM is one of the termini of the Remembrance Driveway from Sydney to Canberra initiated by Queen Elizabeth in 1954.
|Condition and Integrity|
AWM: The design of the building, galleries and displays has evolved over a long period of time, while the overall form of the building has generally not changed. The 1968-71 extension of the transepts is in sympathy with this form. The interior spaces including the galleries have been much altered over the years and the original skylights were modified and then closed. The essential and integrated relationship of the relics, records and memorial spaces, which was part of the early conception for the AWM, remains strongly expressed. Refer to the description and history for further details of the changes.
Anzac Hall: As erected.
AWM: The building is currently in fair to good condition. The conservation management plan (Pearson and Crocket 1995) for Bligh Voller Nield identified several problem areas. Cracks in the masonry and concrete construction appeared before the building's completion and these have continued. Over time, cracking has affected the backgrounds for dioramas (subsequently repaired or replaced) and the Hall of Memory where it is a continuing conservation concern. The building has also suffered stonework deterioration and water leaks. Much of the damage has been restored since 1995. The conservation management plan now requires updating.
ANZAC Hall: The building is in good condition.
Anzac Parade: Refer to National Capital Authority web site and studies.
About 25ha, in Reid and Campbell, comprising the whole of
Anzac Parade (including the median strip) from the northern alignment of
Constitution Avenue to the southern boundary of Section 39 Reid; Anzac Park
(comprising Block 1 Section 41 Reid, Block 4 Section 39 Reid, Block 1 Section 1
Campbell, Block 2 Section 60 Campbell); the whole of Section 39 Campbell; that
part of Limestone Avenue to the east of the alignment of the south-eastern most
boundary of Block 5 Section 39 Reid; and that part of Fairbairn Avenue to the
west of the alignment of the north west boundary of Block 3 Section 60
Australian War Memorial web site 2006 www.awm.gov.au
Bede, Nairn and Serle, Geoffrey (1979) Australian dictionary of biography, Melbourne University Press.
Bligh Voller Architects and the Australian War Memorial (1997) Australian War Memorial heritage conservation master plan.
Connor, J R (1970) A guide to Canberra buildings, Angus and Robertson.
Crocket, Grahame (1997) Australian War Memorial significance assessment report for Bligh Voller Nield Architects Pty Ltd.
Deakin University (2005) Australians at war, unpublished thematic report prepared for the Department of the Environment and Heritage.
Garnett, Rodney and Hyndes, Danielle (1992) The heritage of the Australian Capital Territory, National Trust of Australia (ACT) and others.
Inglis, Ken (1985) ‘A Sacred Place: the making of the Australian War Memorial’ in War and Society vol 3 no. 2 1985.
Inglis, Ken (1998) Sacred places: war memorials in the Australian landscape, Melbourne University Press.
McKernan, Michael (1991) Here is their spirit: a history of the Australian War Memorial 1917-1990, University Queensland Press.
National Capital Authority web site (www.national capital.gov.au 2005)
Pearson, Michael (1995) Australian War Memorial Assessment of Significance, unpublished report for Bligh Voller Architects and the AWM.
Pearson, Michael and Crocket, Grahame (1995) Australian War Memorial Conservation Management Plan for Bligh Voller Architects and the AWM.
Ratcliffe, R (1993) Report and plans prepared for Bligh Voller Architects Pty Ltd.
Wikipedia web site (www.wikipedia.org 2006)
* Explanatory notes
The term ‘war’ in this assessment refers to wars and armed conflicts that Australia took part in.
The term 'collection' refers to the objects, records and displays of the AWM. It includes: films; sound recordings; printed and ephemeral materials; military heraldry; technology objects; artefacts; and dioramas and other models.
Report Produced Sun Dec 8 08:55:10 2013