Public architecture showcase
Paul van Ratingen and Matteo Salval from Johnson Pilton Walker showcase the Anzac Memorial Centenary Extension, recipient of the Sulman Medal for Public Architecture and Award for Urban Design in the NSW Architecture Awards 2020
Paul and Matteo are joined by collaborators in the project Paulo Macchia, Director Design Governance of Government Architect NSW and Hung Nguyen, Technical Director of Taylor Thomson Whitting, who outline their contribution to the project.
About the project
The Centenary Extension provided the Memorial with needed exhibition and education facilities and reasserted its prominence with a new forecourt and a water cascade, the latter in response to the scheme by the original Memorial architect, Bruce Dellit.
The architectural response creates a new civic room, the Hall of Service. This sunken courtyard is visually and environmentally connected to the public domain and the Memorial above. The spatial and emotional qualities of the Memorial are carried through the underground building and the Hall of Service. The experience of this space is intensified by the stories of soil collection to create Fiona Hall’s artworks nested in the walls and floor.
The Centenary Extension delivers a unique and coherent experience where the existing informs the new, and the new complements the existing. Its design contributes to the contemporary relevance of the Memorial engaging visitors deeply through the experience of architecture and art.
As noted by the jury, the project is neither a replica nor a pastiche of the original idea. Instead, the Centenary Extension looked beyond the brief to transform a subterranean education extension into an integrated experience. This is very much a journey of the senses; the absence of city noise, the light and shade, and the texture through the interplay of a well-orchestrated palette of materials that, while modern in their execution, seek a respectful conversation with the original memorial.