El Alamein Fountain in Sydney
The El Alamein Memorial Fountain is a fountain and war memorial in the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located in the Kings Cross area, at the entrance to the Fitzroy Gardens on the corner of Darlingurst Road and Macleay Street. The El Alamein Fountain was commissioned as a memorial to soldiers who died in 1942 during the Second World War in two battles at El Alamein, Egypt, and was designed by the Australian-born architect Bob Woodward.
The Australian 9th Division fought in both battles of El Alamein during the Second World War. Both were important for the course of the war; the first battle, fought in July 1942, halted the advance of Axis forces into Egypt and the second, fought in October and November 1942, routed them, and is considered a turning point in the Western Desert Campaign. The El Alamein fountain commemorates the Australian army's roles in the North Africa campaign in general,
New Zealand born Robert (Bob) Woodward was commissioned to build the fountain Woodward, himself an Army veteran, was 36 at the time The fountain made such a name for Woodward that he went on to design many others, and his fountains are his best-known works.
Woodward's Modernist design has been variously described as looking like a blown thistle, or dandelion.<ref name="MacMahon"/><ref name="Neville"/><ref name="DK"/><ref name="Conde"/><ref name="Heritage"/> The sculpture is made of bronze with brass pipes. The small-nozzled spray heads make the sphere-shaped spray very fine, and sensitive to air movement.<ref name="Neville"/> The fountain sits on a hexagonal base, where the water cascades down three levels.<ref name="Heritage"/> It is illuminated at night.<ref name="DK"/>
The fountain won Woodward the New South Wales Institute of Architects Civic Design Award in 1964.<ref name="Heritage"/> Over the years, its iconic shape has made it a well-known landmark<ref name="Cooee"/><ref name="DK"/><ref name="Lonely"/> that has been imitated by other builders.<ref name="Cooee"/><ref name="Heritage"/>
As the focal point of the Kings Cross area, the fountain often serves as a meeting place.<ref name="Cooee"/><ref name="Conde"/>
- Australian 9th Division
- El Alamein
- Kings Cross