El Alamein Fountain

El Alamein Fountain

El Alamein Memorial Fountain
SydneyNew South Wales
El Alamein Memorial Fountain
Location 2 km (1 mi) east of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) City of Sydney
Night photo of El Alamein Memorial Fountain

The El Alamein Memorial Fountain[1] 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.[2] 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,[3] and was designed by the Australian architect Bob Woodward.[4][5][6]


  • War memorial 1
  • The designer 2
  • The design 3
  • Cultural impact 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

War memorial

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.[7] The El Alamein fountain commemorates the Australian army's roles in the North Africa campaign in general,[2][3] and the two El Alamein battles in particular.[8][9]

The designer

New Zealand born Robert (Bob) Woodward was commissioned to build the fountain[2][4][5][7][9] in 1959.[10] Woodward, himself an Army veteran,[11] was 36 at the time [11] and had studied architecture at Sydney University, and worked in Finland.[11] The structure was completed in 1961[2][3][4][7][8] and officially opened by Harry Jensen, Lord Mayor of Sydney.[12] The fountain made such a name for Woodward that he went on to design many others, and his fountains are his best-known works.[4][10][13][14][15][16]

The design

Woodward's Modernist design[4][15][16][17] has been variously described as looking like a blown thistle,[18] or dandelion.[4][5][7][9][10] 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.[5] The fountain sits on a hexagonal base, where the water cascades down three levels.[10] It is illuminated at night.[7]

Cultural impact

The fountain won Woodward the New South Wales Institute of Architects Civic Design Award in 1964.[10] Over the years, its iconic shape has made it a well-known landmark[2][7][18] that has been imitated by other builders.[2][10]

As the focal point of the Kings Cross area, the fountain often serves as a meeting place.[2][9]

See also


  1. ^ Howlin, Jan (November 2006). "Luminary: Robert Woodward". indesign 27 (Indesign Publishing). p. 126. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Within Cooee: Sydney. Accessed July 2008
  3. ^ a b c City of Sydney official website. Accessed July 2008
  4. ^ a b c d e f The Architecture of East Australia by Bill MacMahon. Axel Menges, 2001. ISBN 3-930698-90-0. Google Books copy accessed July 2008
  5. ^ a b c d Neville Crocker Australia Pty Ltd NCA Technical Data Sheet Sphere Fountain (PDF). Accessed July 2008
  6. ^ Dreiseitl, Herbert; Dieter Grau; Karl H.C. Ludwig (1 April 2001). Waterscapes: Planning, Building and Designing with Water. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser Basel. p. 174.  
  7. ^ a b c d e f DK publishers: dktravel. Accessed July 2008
  8. ^ a b Sydney Landmarks and Districts. Accessed July 2008
  9. ^ a b c d Condé Nast Traveller: Sydney Guide. Accessed July 2008
  10. ^ a b c d e f The Twentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW: Heritage Walks. Elizabeth Bay and Potts Point (brochure) (PDF) Accessed July 2008
  11. ^ a b c Robert Woodward interview, 22 March 1972. National Library of Australia Catalogue. Accessed July 2008
  12. ^ National Library of Australia: Picture Australia. Accessed July 2008
  13. ^ Architecture Australia, January/February 1999. Headlines. Accessed July 2008
  14. ^ The Courier Mail: Vow to save QPAC fountain. By Amanda Horswill, 26 March 2007 12:00am. Accessed July 2008.
  15. ^ a b Powerhouse Museum: modernist exhibit August 2008. Accessed July 2008
  16. ^ a b Sydney Design '08. Accessed July 2008
  17. ^ Modern Times: Untold Story Of Modernism In Australia. Huliq News. Accessed July 2008
  18. ^ a b Lonely Planet: Sydney, Australia. Accessed July 2008

External links

  • El Alamein Fountain is at coordinates