Feature, Outdoor

5 Anzac Day memorials that have been transformed with light

‘Lighting the souls of the unforgotten’ was the motto used by studio PointOfView to describe its illumination of the Anzac Memorial at Hyde Park

It’s the centenary of Anzac Day, and what better way to mark the day than with light. Here are five war memorials where lighting has been used to enhance the memory of Australia’s fallen.


Australian War Memorial, Canberra

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The main heritage building has recently had a LED lighting upgrade.

‘As well as enhancing the building’s aesthetics, the lighting has improved functionality by increasing public safety and security monitoring and reduced energy consumption,’ confirms a spokesman for the Australian War Memorial.

Steensen Varming lighting engineers also installed new lighting on the copper dome roof and the external tower.

Left: Australian War Memorial, Canberra, image reference: PAIU2014_146_10.


HMAS Sydney Memorial, Geraldton

Geraldton’s memorial to HMAS Sydney is a tribute to the 645 men who lost their lives after the vessel was attacked by the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran off the WA coast during the Second World War. This was the greatest single tragedy in Australian naval history.

Designed by Smith Sculptors, every part of the memorial is symbolic in some way, and the lighting has been designed to enhance this. The memorial was illuminated by halogen globes originally, but for a longer life expectancy and softer effect, these have recently been replaced with LEDs which include 24V low voltage LED strip lighting and LED floodlights.

Geraldton’s memorial to HMAS Sydney. Image: Graeme Gibbons


Parkdale War Memorial, Victoria

The brief for the upgrade to Parkdale’s two memorials was to provide a suitable ambience for the Anzac day dawn service, reflecting the spirit of the day.

‘In order to give the slender obelisk a greater presence, we chose to create the illusion of a reflection on the paving and thus bring the image closer to the viewer,’ says David Bird of 2B Designed.

Using We-Ef in-ground metal halides with LED linear fittings, 2B Designed uplit the cenotaphs with recessed fittings, then added some magic by providing an illuminated line on the paving.

This has created the impression that the cenotaphs are floating.  Soft lighting of the handrail along the seaside ads a subtle backdrop.

Parkdale War Memorial. Image: 2B Designed




Anzac Memorial Building, Sydney

‘Lighting the souls of the unforgotten’ was the motto used by studio PointOfView to describe its illumination of the Anzac Memorial at Hyde Park, whose aim for the lighting redesign was to complement the memorial without changing its atmosphere.

The LED spots sculpt the monument by playing with light and shadow to focus on key elements, such as the statues.

The small-scale linear LED fixtures allowed the designers to anchor the monument by casting light up to the corners of the building, which would have previously been impossible with more traditional lighting technologies.


National War Memorial, Adelaide

Adelaide City Council and the State Government share the responsibility for the lighting of the National War Memorial which is prominently located on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue.

The sculpture of a girl, a student and a farmer is illuminated with halogen uplights, while the monument’s rear is lit by Adepole street lamps, one of which is fitted with a spotlight that shines onto the war memorial.