“…..what a privilege it was to be given responsibility to design this project embedded in Australian folklore and adjacent to the oldest public square in Australia, Macquarie Place......"
The Gallipoli Memorial Club was established in 1935 to maintain the memory and legacy of Australia's heroic war efforts in World War I and in subsequent wars including World War II and Vietnam. The club has been housed in a heritage listed building at Circular Quay in the centre of Sydney's tourist hub, across the street from the historic public square, Macquarie Place and straddling the historic tank stream. This building has been modified several times since the 1800's and, by the twenty-first century, found itself surrounded by a number of less significant neighbouring structures. Australian Insurance giant AMP had acquired the sites surrounding the Gallipoli Club consolidating these with a neighbouring urban block to establish a major mixed-use urban redevelopment precinct known as Quay Quarter. The AMP redevelopment relies, in part, on the transfer of floor space from the Gallipoli Club to these other sites. In order to effect this arrangement, AMP undertook to help fund the upgrade of the club to provide new restaurants and bars to the existing 3 level building as well as the construction of a new basement underneath the building and a new interpretative museum below a future multi-unit apartment building next door. The adaptive re-use of the stone and timber building includes the insertion of a glass lift and contemporary fit-out to all 3 levels. Included in these works is the upgrade of the old structure to meet contemporary building standards and earthquake codes whilst at all times being responsive to heritage fabric and the building's historic social significance. The location of the building in Sydney's historic tourist precinct has justified a significant transformation of the old building into a historic destination for tourists as well as a salubrious meeting place for a young executive demographic.