How Sevaan Group played a pivotal role in the restoration of an iconic NSW landmark
The recent upgrade of the graceful art deco Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park was central to the State’s Centenary of Anzac commemorations, marking the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War. It was officially opened by Prince Harry in October 2018, 84 years after the original building was inaugurated by his great-granduncle, the Duke of Gloucester.
Sevaan Group’s steel fabrication played a pivotal role in the restoration and placed the company alongside some of the biggest names in Australian art and design – including contemporary artist Fiona Hall, architect Richard Johnson and industrial designer Andrew Crick.
The Anzac Memorial project has been recognised internationally and shortlisted for a ‘Civic & Community’ World Architecture Award, with winners announced in December.
The project overview
The Anzac Memorial has stood serenely in Sydney’s Hyde Park since 1934, designed to mark the impact on NSW of the First World War. Created by English sculptor Raynor Hoff and Australian architect Charles Bruce Dellit, it is also one of our finest examples of art deco design. As Project Manager with the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project, Richard Taylor was central to the restoration process – a five-year project that involved Sevaan Group’s precision metal fabrication.
Realising the vision
The project featured two major components: a new cascading water feature and the new Hall of Service. It aimed to realise Dellit’s original architectural vision which had been scaled back due to the Great Depression. Whilst the Pool of Reflection has always sat to the north of the memorial, the original design also featured a major water feature to the south.
Now, a contemporary interpretation of that water cascade sits alongside a walkway and provides a dramatic entrance to the galleries.
Central to the new Hall of Service is Fiona Hall’s artwork – for which Sevaan Group designed and manufactured the entire superstructure – a metal fabrication job requiring absolute precision and quality.
Dedicated to the NSW men and women who served in the war, the artwork features 1,701 soil samples, one from each of the NSW towns and suburbs that were home to those who enlisted – and to which many never returned. The soils have been embedded into bronze plaques around the walls.
A ring of plaques on the floor contains soil samples from 100 significant international battlefields – dating from the 19th to 21st centuries. And this sits beneath the Oculus, a circular architectural feature that references the adjacent Hall of Memory and provides a view towards the Hall of Silence.
Also on display in the room are eight delicate glass vases, hand-etched with flowers selected by Hall as significant to Australian service personnel – including Rosemary, Gallipoli Rose and the Flanders Poppy.
Playing a part
“Sevaan was recommended to me by our Industrial Designer. The company was one of three possibilities and we went with them,” Richard explains.
And while the work is unseen, it certainly wasn’t a small job. It involved extensive planning and design for manufacture, plus precision accuracy and production. “Sevaan started work on the project a year before the official opening. They produced several prototypes for us before we decided on the final design for manufacture.”
For Richard, the collaboration was entirely positive. “I would be happy to recommend Sevaan. They were very professional and easy to work with. We had a single principal contact through the entire process – and everything went smoothly from start to finish.”
The Anzac Memorial attracts nearly 200,000 visitors annually. And Sevaan Group is very proud to have played a part in helping to create one of its most beautiful spaces of contemplation, remembrance and reflection.