The new Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club, designed by Warren & Mahoney, is a durable, sustainable building that will increase revenue and participation of surf lifesaving in the area.
Consisting of three elevated glass pavilions, the space captures views of the coastal landscape.
“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 every day local heroes watch over the community as it plays,” says W+M Principal, Sven Ollmann.
“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.”
Engagement with members of both the community and Club enabled W+M to analyse and understand the inner workings of the organisation alongside the myriad needs of locals.
The Club includes surf lifesaving facilities, a large storage area, a gym and change facilities for members, a family change room, an accessibility toilet, disabled adult change room, a café, restaurant, function room and a members’ bar and lounge, with facilities catering to all generations.
“The project needed the utmost durability in terms of materials. Materials including timber and textured raw concrete were chosen to reflect the natural environment and to work with, as well as resist where necessary, the harsh coastal environment. We took existing elements like the sand dunes, sun and wind into consideration to ensure an improved user experience would manifest,” says Ollmann.
“Locality was also an important consideration, with the building aiming to build on the identity of Mona Vale as a place, acknowledging its people and celebrating the local history and culture. The Club will be well placed to play the role of social connector, acting as the gateway and welcome to Mona Vale Beach.”
Aboriginal art is also tied into aspects of the building with artists Michael Glasheen and Leslie McLeod commissioned to develop works for the indoor and outdoor space.
“And for Warren and Mahoney, sustainability is always a key focus, so we’ve maximised the existing passive day lighting and shading to define efficient temperature-control and ventilation strategies.
“We’ve also carefully considered construction and material selections. Wherever possible, we have selected to use materials that are low embodied Co2, renewable rather than finite, locally sourced, have the highest environmental accreditation, and have a positive effect on occupant/user health.”
“The building design also supports and preserves the immediate local ecology. We’ve focused on controlling water usage and run-off, and installed a 70,000L rainwater tank to be used in the daily cleaning of the club’s gear after a long day in the surf.”