Warren and Mahoney Architects, an architectural firm with offices in Australia and New Zealand, completes the new Mona Vale Surf Life Savings Club (SLSC) in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.
The modern minimalist structure overlooks Sydney’s Northern Beaches with three pavilions made of timber, concrete, and glass. The project aims to honor surfing, beach life, community, and the environment.
The final design was achieved after a comprehensive consultation with the local communities regarding their needs, the club’s accessibility, multi-generational support, and diversification. The concluded design features surf lifesaving facilities, storage areas, family changing rooms, and facilities for disabled individuals. The exclusive members’ area is also included, in addition to a restaurant, a café, and a function room.
‘Functionality sits at the heart of the design to deliver an enhanced experience. By drawing the community, the park, and the beach together, the new facility will continue to support an important safety and community service while also being a more inclusive people-first space – breaking down barriers to welcome new people from right across the community into the club.’W+M Architects
Moreover, the design team ensures that the surf club’s visitors and the environment interact in each corner. This vision materialized through the massive windows overlooking the beach and outdoor terraces with seating provisions. The beachfront location called for a deliberate material selection that could stand an unforgiving coastal environment. Consequently, the designers deemed the use of timber and textured raw concrete most suitable. It also reflects the natural environment around the surf club. And to further improve the user experience, the team took the dunes, wind, and sun into account, creating barriers that will protect the structure from these elements. Aboriginal arts from Michael Glasheen and Leslie McLeod were also merged with pure forms to celebrate Indigenous connections.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches is an area with a distinct local identity, deeply tied to its physical surroundings. Surf lifesaving clubs play a central role in community life – providing vibrant and fun social gathering places, whilst also delivering critical surf lifesaving operations that see everyday local heroes watch over the community as it plays.Sven Ollmann, Principal of W+M Architects
Photos are from Sean Fennessy, Brett Boardman and Northern Beaches Council