Remembrance Drive Interchange
- Paul Thompson
- John Holland Group
- Michael Taffe
The Avenue of Honour Ballarat is one of the most significant service memorials in Australia, listed as a ‘significant landscape of national importance’.
This extremely site-specific work compliments the existing typologies of the Avenue of Honour (corridor) and the Arch of Victory (object) with the field of the Arc (landscape); operating at both intimate and infrastructural scales enabling visitation and commemoration – through retention and reinstatement of the heritage avenue, acknowledging the character of the rural landscape; creating a major piece of transport infrastructure, and a new gateway for the City of Ballarat as part of a broader freeway duplication project.
The construction of a diamond interchange, two new single span structures, an interpretive area, signage, car parking, bridge barrier parapets, bridge abutments, and the replanting of sections of the Ballarat Avenue of Honour, provision for pedestrian circulation and access along Remembrance Drive.
Custom perforated screens feature 3,700 outlines, representing the servicemen and women acknowledged in the Avenue, one in every five recording the number of servicemen killed during the conflict.
Open graded asphalt creates haptic queues for drivers. Commemorative planting referencing the poppies of the Flanders fields, flowering in Autumn for Anzac Day, and in Spring for Remembrance Day.
Collaboration with Client and Designers:
Undertaken in close collaboration with VicRoads from the commencement of the project with an ambitious design brief for this highly significant piece of infrastructure; working with their structural and civil engineers through the selection of the wall systems and abutment options, the prototyping of the panels; collaborating with horticulturalists in terms of the reinstatement of the avenue – determining the height to lift the road, the distribution of the carriageways and trees spacing; and working with a historian who undertook research to ensure the accuracy of the battles and unit information interpreted into the commemorative parts of the abutment walls.
The abutment walls’ horizontal cast in banding references the trenches of World War I; custom handmade and installed individual lettering features the names and locations of each of the World War I Battles in which the Ballarat servicemen and women took part; bench seats were constructed from site sourced milled timber salvaged twelve months in advance and inscribed with commemorative messages coated with a preservative sourced from a former military application; large site sourced rocks reference the drystone walls of the region and native vegetation of the Victorian Volcanic plane was used in the Australian wildflower meadow planting.
This project has high environmental sensitivity because the Avenue of Honour is the longest in the southern hemisphere.
A green infrastructure approach included: biofiltration, passive irrigation, contiguous soil volumes, structural soil, permeable surfaces, the planting of 80 trees reconnecting an ecological corridor; 28,000 plants creating habitat and pollinator planting; and the re-use of site salvaged rocks and timber. Reinforcing the importance of commissioning urban design led projects for VicRoads’ future project design briefs and commissions; as well as helping to leverage state government support for the reopening of a rail crossing reuniting a forgotten section of the Avenue of Honour.