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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

hall of memory, australian war memorial

 

Project

Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial

Client

Australian War Memorial

Consultants

Ove Arup & Partners were the consulting engineers responsible for diagnosing two problems and documenting and supervising the conservation works. This work was led by their materials scientist, David West.

Services

Architectural Conservation

Description

The walls and dome of the Hall of Memory 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. Over six million pieces of glass tesserae were used in the composition; it was installed by Italian craftsmen and took over three years to complete.

Treatment

ICS carried out a major program of conservation works to the mosaic in the Hall of Memory in 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

Links

Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial

History of the Waller Mosaic

      

Australian War Memorial

Hall of Memory, Australian War Memorial