The Anzac Memorial was designed to be a place of silent contemplation. The Memorial's architect Bruce Dellit chose to design the building in the modern and popular art deco style. He intended the building to function as a sculptural monument.
The building’s design combines the strong aesthetic qualities of a monument with the more utilitarian requirements to house veterans organisations and their auxiliaries. Among those organisations that were based at the Anzac Memorial were The Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia (NSW Branch), The Limbless Soldiers’ Association of NSW and The TB Sailors and Soldiers’ Association of Australia (NSW). These particular veterans groups provided the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial.
Eventually spaces in the Memorial would be used for other purposes from the establishment of a veterans building society, doctors consulting rooms, a Returned and Services League NSW tribunal and a hall in which to hold dances and other social events for disabled veterans. It was a place where veterans could come to get support and reminisce together.
The economic impact of the great depression adversely influenced the completion of the Memorial. Some elements of the original design were not completed due to their cost.
After the completion of the central building, unemployment relief funds released to the City of Sydney allowed the Pool of Reflection to be built.