‘Australia in the Great War’ First World War Galleries Re-development

  • 2015

  • Architectural

Designed By:

  • Cunningham Martyn Design

Commissioned By:

Australian War Memorial

Designed In:


‘Australia in the Great War’ is the redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial’s First World War galleries which opened in December 2014. It is the first major refurbishment of the galleries in 40 years and one of the nation’s key contributions to the centenary of the conflict. Overarching principles of the brief included a ‘classic and timeless feel’ and to instate the chronology of the campaigns and major battles. The re-development presented significant challenges in retaining and restoring the heritage values and character of the building while acknowledging the changed concept of commemoration and presenting the story of the First World War with veracity, depth and relevance to Australians today.

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  • Every element of the exhibition scheme was carefully composed and considered within the context of the site, the exhibition narrative and the end visitor experience. Major design interventions, including the diorama facades and central showcases, were developed to enhance the impact of the outstanding collection. The outcome is an immersive and impacting experience that enables visitors to oscillate between the grand scale of the conflict, with its great triumphs and catastrophic losses, to the individual men and women and their personal experience of the war.Iconic collection items, including the dioramas and major paintings, were painstakingly conserved to re-instate optimum viewing and lighting conditions.