PM Scott Morrison’s unveiling of the Australian War Memorial expansion in Canberra late last year will see Cox and Scott Carver live out any architect’s dream: $500 million to play with and a nine-year construction timeline.
The announcement of the ambitious project saw backlash surrounding the demolishing of the existing Anzac Hall, the design’s cost and where else the budget could be better spent.
The Sydney Morning Herald called the redevelopment of the memorial “unnecessary”, whilst Brendan Nelson conversely argued its importance in combatting PTSD as a proper recognition of military service.
Amidst the divide of the Anzac Memorial redevelopment, the facts still stand: this nine-year long redevelopment will be “the price paid for the freedoms that we enjoy and too often we take for granted,” according to Nelson.
The new Anzac Hall will provide an additional 4000sqm of gallery space with the construction of a new two-storey building to house and display exhibitions, large technology objects and galleries.
The glazed link, also designed by Cox, will strengthen and improve connectivity between the main building and Anzac Hall, hosting aircrafts, armoured vehicles, a café and space for tours and events.
The expansion will exclude heritage facades which will remain unchanged but will still see extensions to the Bean Building for a research centre.
The new southern underground entrance will be designed by Scott Carver who describes the new entrance as “the beginning and end of the journey through the memorial proper, and a place to orientate and connect, through both the physical and the intellectual.”
“It is a place to commemorate those who served and honour who they are, to reflect on what they experience and to understand the record they left behind.”