Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial

PROJECT DATE : 1998-2000
project
Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial
client
Australian War Memorial
services
Architectural Conservation, Mosaics

Overview

The walls and dome of the Hall of Memory, at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, are lined with one of the largest mosaics in the world. Designed by artist Napier Waller (who also designed the fifteen stained glass windows in the Hall), it was unveiled in 1959.

The mosaic inside the dome depicts the souls of the dead rising from the earth towards their spiritual home, represented by a glowing sun within the Southern Cross.

The figures on the walls – a soldier, a sailor, an airman and a servicewoman – recall the Australian experience of the Second World War. Installed by Italian craftsmen and using more than six million pieces of glass tesserae, the mosaic took over three years to complete.

Treatment

ICS carried out a major program of conservation works to the mosaic in the Hall of Memory from 1998-2000. This included:

  • Detailed documentation of the condition of the complete mosaic
  • Cleaning of the mosaic, including removal of bird droppings
  • Removal and re-installation of the mosaic around the base of the dome, at the springing point of the apse, and at the head of the window mullions
  • Insertion of structural dowels of the head of the window mullions
  • Construction of new movement joints and floating mosaic supports at each location

project
Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial
client
Australian War Memorial
services
Architectural Conservation, Mosaics

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