This proposal is for a comparatively small but nevertheless important public memorial situated on the crest of a vacant rise in the Domain of Sydney’s CBD. The challenge to impress upon the public the importance of the relative few who had given their lives in the course of duty exhorted that the memorial have some functional and ceremonial importance beyond the names of those commemorated. Not for this memorial the bleakness of a Cenotaph but instead a gesture more in the spirit of the Tobruk Memorial Pools that provide such a useful service to the community.

The proposal was therefore to create a place that was protected from the sun and rain for individuals and families and the 50+ marchers at the Remembrance Day ceremonies to be able to gather and observe protocols. There was also the opportunity to provide a poignant expression of the sheltering hand of the Law. The memorial took the form of a canopy, literally like an outstretched hand, symbolising caring in the community both now and always.

The form and technique of the canopy echo some of Sydney’s best known monuments. It integrates flagpoles that allow flags to hang vertically as an appropriate gesture of remembrance. The canopy shelters a 6m x 10m paved area in front of the stainless steel plaque etched with the names, and mounted onto an exposed concrete plinth 1400 high. This contains planting beds on either side and lighting that floods the underside of the canopy. The plaque faces away from the road out into the landscape and towards Kings Cross. The height of the plinth gives the memorial a sense of transparency by allowing views through the park and beyond. The curve of the canopy is mentally completed on the far side of the bay, thereby uniting visually the Memorial with the larger city and landscape beyond.

The construction of the canopy is entirely from 12mm grade CNC water-cut 2205 stainless steel plate. Each of the blade plates is bolted to one another by 25mm bolts with 10mm packers between, forming a pair of long cantilevering beams onto which the roof plates are bolted with 20mm diam threaded spigots welded to the tops of the centre blades. The foundations are a series of concrete beams that are arranged under the cantilevering members to counteract the considerable bending moment.