National Architecture Awards 2020: Sir Zelman Cowen Prize for Public Architecture

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Jury quote

The Anzac memorial Centenary Extension provided the Anzac Memorial with much-needed exhibition and education facilities, and reaffirmed its significance in Sydney’s Hyde Park with a new forecourt and waterfall, a tribute to the 1930s vision of the architect of the memorial, C. Bruce Dellit. The memorial is an admired landmark, but the original view of the cascading fountains to the south of the memorial had remained unrealized until now.

The Centennial Extension goes beyond the brief to transform an underground extension into an integrated visitor experience. It takes the visitor on a journey from the bustling street to a new formal courtyard, the service room, new facilities and the original memorial rooms beyond. It is a processional journey of the senses. The waterfall gradually attenuates the noise of the city to focus the visitor on the essential character of the memorial; daylight through the oculus of the courtyard transforms the space over the days and seasons of the year; and the textural qualities achieved through the interplay of a refined palette of materials translate into a respectful conversation with the original memorial.

Out of respect for the original association of Dellit and artist George Rayner Hoff, a collaboration between artist Fiona Hall and design architect Richard Johnson results in a unique experience of art and architecture. The collaboration between Johnson Pilton Walker and the NSW Government Architect made the project possible, including the skillful execution of the massive community project to bring together land from all over New South Wales and the foreign battle sites to complement the artist’s vision. The centenary extension of the Anzac Memorial meets traditional and contemporary architectural requirements, artfully reinterpreting Dellit’s vision and reconnecting visitors with Anzac’s spirit of collaboration and community in a living memorial worthy of the 21st century .

Project credits

Architect Johnson Pilton Walker with NSW Government Architect; Group project Richard Johnson, Paul van Ratingen, Matteo Salval, Kiong Lee, Peter Blome, Victor Au, Emma van Lint, Timothy Clare, Daniel Wainwright, Alex Prichard, Clemens Delheid, Lorenzo Mauloni, Heinrich Hoop, Riccardo Cola, Maria Rigoli, Josh Harrold, Oliver Ju, Jan Adcock, Peter Poulet, Paulo Macchia, Olivia Hyde, Bruce Pettman, Matthew Devine; Builder Holdings built; Project Manager Cadence; Surveyor AAM; Engineer Taylor Thomson Whitting; BCA consultant and fire engineer DEA; Hydraulic consultant Leisure engineering; Services and lighting advisor Arup; Town planner MG planning; Heritage advisors NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation – Heritage Asset Advisory, and Matt Devine and Co.; Acoustic consultant Marshall Day Acoustics; Indigenous cultural impact assessment Australian museum advice; Remediation and waterproofing consultant Diagnostic; Geotechnical consultant Douglas Partners; Accessibility advisor Morris Goding Access Consulting; Vertical transport NDI; Kitchen design the Mack group; Quantity surveyor WT Partnership; Construction management Time planning; Arboriculture advisor IQ tree; Artist Fiona Room; Exhibition designer Square X design; Industrial designer Schremmer Crick Associates

Anzac Memorial Centenary Extension is located in Sydney, New South Wales, on the lands of the Gadigal and Darug peoples of the Eora Nation.


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