The architectural vision behind the ANZAC Memorial Center.
The ANZAC Museum was designed as a system of spaces that offers the visitor an experience of venturing from the outside in and back again; however, as is the nature of the familiar epic, the visitor that enters the museum is not the same person that exits its premises at the end of the visit.
The story of the journey and the war is transmitted through a set of narratives and spaces, from the journey to the Land of Israel to the battles in Gaza and the conquest of Be’er Sheva in 1917. Visitors embark on the learning experience through a fascinating display in the central space which continues through to the auditorium where they are presented with a combination of film and unique live performance. At the end of the visit, the visitors find themselves looking out at the cemetery – the result of the war.
The balcony of the museum affords a view on the cemetery, where the gravestones of the ANZAC and British soldiers slain in the battle for Be’er Sheva a hundred years ago rise up in monumental stillness.
The building is cast of exposed white concrete, reminiscent, on the one hand, of desert stone, and on the other hand, of the fortifications associated with the landscape of war. The shape of the building was designed to resemble the heads of charging horses, so characteristic of this particular battle.
It is not the purpose of the building to glorify the event of war, but to memorialize the story of its victims and the heavy price of the fighting, while enabling visitors to look out onto the city of Be’er Sheva as it is today, teeming with life and displaying the wondrous development it has undergone in the years since that battle.
Principal architect – Udi Cassif