Architect of the Mona Vale Surf Lifesaving Club redesign, Warren and Mahoney hopes to redefine the concept of a traditional lifesaving club, and create a space that acts as a focal point for the beachside community. 

With extensive experience in civic and community architecture across Australia and New Zealand, Warren and Mahoney knew this project needed to be approached with a ‘community-first’ focus.

“At Mona Vale SLSC it was important we developed a forum to allow locals and club members to come along on the journey and be engaged in the process, even before any lines were drawn on paper,” says Thomas Hansen, lead architect on the project.   

The design for the project was guided by several integral principles including functionality, enduring design, the site’s rich history and the important role it plays in the local community as both a life-saving club and a social hub. The site’s location also heavily informed the design approach.  

While the ground floor will optimise operations for the club, additional private and public function areas and a restaurant have been included to facilitate social interaction and engagement with the space.

“The club is the connection between the park and the beach, so it was important to ensure it was a seamless transition and that the building complemented the natural environment,” says Hansen. 

“To achieve this we proposed a robust textured concrete ground level that anchors the building to the site, and a lightweight open structure on the second level, using timber and glass to provide openness and visual connection to its surrounds. 

“Keeping the primary surf club operations positioned at the ground level, we elevated the function spaces to maximise views to the beach and headlands, promoting passive ventilation and allowing a dialogue with the natural beauty of Mona Vale.”

In line with Warren and Mahoney’s commitment to sustainable design, Mona Vale SLSC will use recycled rainwater and has been fitted with both solar photovoltaic and solar domestic hot water systems.