This Anzac Day is the centenary of the Gallipoli ANZAC landing, prompting Australians to reflect on the impact of war, conflict and peacekeeping operations in our nation’s European history. During this year’s commemorations, thousands of people will converge at the Shrine of Remembrance, one of Melbourne’s iconic buildings and one that Umow Lai has helped be redeveloped.
Official records reveal that The Shrine of Remembrance was created in 1926 as “a means of conveying to future generations the desire of the people of Victoria to commemorate the service of its soldiers in the Great War and would be sufficient to form a strong reminder of those services to a generation which will not have the practical experience of the Great War.”
Since then, many changes have taken place. The most recent was the completion of Stage 2 that saw the redevelopment of the existing central undercroft and construction of a new southern undercroft to provide new educational facilities with a dedicated student access courtyard, a theatrette, loading area and expanded display spaces.
Umow Lai provided the highest quality level of engineering building services to meet the challenges encountered as part of the overall upgrade, particularly in the undercroft area. This is where the Devanha Gallipoli Boat, on loan from the National War Memorial, is now located. The addition quickly became a favourite with visitors, including veterans and their families, the general public and school students.
“We liaised closely with the boats’ owners and the exhibition consultants to make sure that all the appropriate conditions were provided,” commented Patrick Elliott, a director of Umow Lai, who headed the firm’s Shrine project team.
The recent upgrades were designed by ARM architects with whom Umow Lai closely collaborated. The original Shrine Master plan was prepared by ARM Architecture with Cunningham Martyn (exhibition design), Lovell Chen (Heritage architects) and Rush Wright (Landscape architects) and Umow Lai, members of the project team managed by Major Projects Victoria.
In 2015, one hundred years after the landing at Anzac Cove in Turkey, the Shrine of Remembrance maintains an important role in continuing to honour Victorian service and sacrifice and to uphold and reinforce the values associated with the original ANZACs.
Photo credit: Chris Erskine, Rush Wright Associates