Shrine of Remembrance Redevelopment
- Melbourne, VIC
The Shrine of Remembrance is Melbourne’s most visible and poignant war memorial. ARM’s additions have expanded it from purely a monument to an exhibition space and education facility. Our designs are full of references and symbols—overt and otherwise—to Australians at war.
The Shrine was built in the 1930s by returned servicemen. For architectural and monumental impact, it is elevated above the surrounding park by massive brick columns that create a vast dirt-floor undercroft. In the 1990s, the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees chose to develop the undercroft space into a facility for staff and visitors.
The development involved two stages, completed in 2003 and 2014 respectively. It comprises the Visitors’ Centre, Education Centre, Galleries of Remembrance and offices, all concealed in the undercroft. Four zigzag-shaped garden courtyards in the surrounding hill lead into the new spaces. Their location and mass reference components of the original 1930s design that were never built.
The designs are inventive, yet deeply respectful of the Shrine’s heritage and cultural importance. The new spaces are significant yet discreet. Hidden beneath the original Shrine, they have not altered its footprint or silhouette. Even the loading dock is invisible when closed: the entrance is a lawn-covered trapdoor in the Shrine’s eastern hillside.
The designs are full of references and symbols—overt and subtle—to war and Australia’s history. In the Student Entry Courtyard, a giant black-and-red steel poppy provides shade from above. The Terrace Courtyard is planted with species native to South-East Asian conflict locations and there is a poppy-red auditorium with a relief pattern of peace cranes on the wall panels.
The Shrine now serves new public and commemorative functions including exhibitions and lectures. The school education programs, delivered in discreet education pods, are linked to the AusVELS Australian curriculum. For tourists and Victorians alike, the Galleries of Remembrance are filled with stories from pre-federation times to contemporary peacekeeping.