Past Project: The Shrine - Galleries of Remembrance

April 2015

As the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli approaches, we’re proud of the role we played in creating an innovative education and visitor experience at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance to honour those who have served, and continue to serve, the country.

In December 2012, Probuild was engaged by the Secretary of the Department of Business and Innovation as the Managing Contractor for the most significant renovation of the Shrine since its original construction.

The Galleries of Remembrance development converted the underutilised undercroft and extended it along the south quadrant beneath the stairs and bermed landscape to create a mirror image of the existing Visitor Centre on the north side of the Shrine.

The 5,000 square metre redevelopment included:

  • Construction of two new southern courtyards
  • Creating and improving the exhibition space of 1,560m² for permanent and temporary exhibitions, museum storage, exhibition/general delivery, staff accommodation, additional education space and an auditorium for public programs and public amenities
  • Providing a separate entry for schools accessing the education program with baggage storage and orientation facilities
  • Delivery of education pods within the undercroft space to assist students to gain exposure to and experience the venue, while minimising the impact of their presence on other patrons
  • An upgrade to disabled access to the undercroft.

The development of detailed procedures to deal with heritage sensitivities of the original 1920s structure. The project entailed extensive works to the Shrine, which necessitated the development of detailed procedures to deal with heritage sensitivities of the original 1920s structure.

Prior to excavation, 400 square metres of heritage bluestone paving was removed from the terrace level. More than 2000 pavers were labelled, removed and stored before being reinstalled in exactly the same location 12 months later.

The project features a number of high quality finishes and design features. The cladding of the two new southern courtyards – the education courtyard and the terrace courtyard – needed to meet the heritage requirements of the Shrine and to match the original stonework.

To achieve this, Probuild extracted the stone from a quarry in Tynong, Victoria, the place that supplied the original granite.

A notable finish of the education courtyard is a large, suspended poppy structure that provides shade. The courtyard also features perforated aluminium panels, with the perforations spelling the Ode of Remembrance in Morse code.

Five Separable Portions were delivered during the project.

The most significant was the new southern Visitor Centre – including an external ring road and lawn area – that handed over on 17 April 2014 in time for last year’s Anzac Day ceremonies.

Achieving SP1 before Anzac Day allowed complete access to the perimeter of the Shrine instead of a construction site with no access.

During construction, Probuild also facilitated and accommodated the delivery of the HMAT Devanha, one of the original boats used during the Gallipoli landings in 1915.

At Gallipoli, the HMT Devanha carried 36 men from the 12th Battalion Headquarters and 3rd Field Ambulance to shore, with the final 200 metres under heavy fire. It would later be used to evacuate the wounded to waiting ships.

Prior to its installation, a 1:1 mock-up of the lifeboat was created to ensure it would fit within the spatial limitations of the Shrine and to determine how best to bring it into the undercroft.

Once in place, the Devanha was wrapped and protected while surrounding finishes were completed. Stringent control measures were put in place to ensure this 100-year-old artefact was protected throughout the works.

The Galleries of Remembrance officially opened to the public on Remembrance Day in 2014 and houses more than 850 projects on permanent and temporary display.

It honours and illustrates the experiences of the men and women, particularly from Victoria, who have served and continue to serve in Australia’s armed forces.

For more information on the Galleries of Remembrance:

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