Sydney Architecture Images- Sydney University

War Memorial Art Gallery

architect

Leslie Wilkinson and H Ingham Ashworth

location

Science Road

date

1953-8

style

Inter-War Gothic

construction

Sandstone

type

Gallery
Little practical function. Successful as a background building.
 
 
 
 
 
The official War Memorial to University personnel who died between September 1939 and September 1945. The work of two of the University's Professors of Architecture. A significant visual element of two precincts (Science Road and the Main Precinct) and an example of Wilkinson's ability to link disparate elements by combining different architectural styles in one structure. One of the University's public galleries.

A bridge from the north side of the Main Quadrangle to connect with, and screen, the east end of the Macleay Museum had been proposed by architects from as early as 1890 and was repeated by Leslie Wilkinson in his 1920 Master Plan. Wilkinson's original scheme (to provide a link from the Main Quadrangle to a new entrance on the Parramatta Road) was substantially modified by 1924 when he designed the Botany addition to the Macleay Museum (A12) and reduced to an archway over Science Road accommodating professorial offices and a laboratory. The archway was not built as a part of the works for Botany. In August 1953 Professors Leslie Wilkinson and H Ingham Ashworth were appointed architects for the Memorial Great Gate and Gallery of Fine Arts, funds for which had been subscribed to the Centenary Appeal. At a late stage in planning the design was amended to provide a double carriageway through the arch. Building work began in 1956 and was completed in 1958. The Roll of Honour was also designed by Wilkinson and Ashworth and manufactured by Wunderlich Ltd. The Gallery's Inaugural Exhibition was held in March-April 1959.

The bridge is constructed of sandstone and re-enforced concrete. It has two distinctly different facades designed to complement the adjacent buildings providing a transition between the sandstone Gothic Revival buildings of the main precinct and the Mediterranean character Wilkinson intended for Science Road. Its main function is visual, continuing the screening function of the Botany Building, complementing the Gothic Revival facade of the Great Hall while still permitting a glimpse down Science Road. The eastern facade is faced with sandstone and features two niches and a central carved shield. The western facade is rendered and features sandstone quoins and surrounds to the oriel windows. The roof is slate with a central copper clad lantern. The roof framing and the framing of the lantern is timber. The building is generally not considered to be of the same standard of detailing or finishing as the other Wilkinson buildings however it is still an important element within the Science Road precinct.

 

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