The Smiths Beach Surf Life Saving Tower is a prefabricated structure that has been thoughtfully designed for safety, seasonal use and harsh coastal conditions.
The tower not only provides protection from the weather and a space for first aid services, but also storage for equipment and a visible patrol presence when opened up.
The structure has no discernible front or back and is designed to be viewed in the round. Its form is accentuated with angled weathered Ironbark fins that conceal a durable corrugated metal facade.
An important feature, the location and extent of the tower’s opening was carefully considered to ensure views of the high-risk areas of the water as well as popular sections of the beach.
Shutters are another key design feature. Acting as a signifier of active patrol, they are opened at the start of patrol and closed at the end of the day, as well as during the off season.
Located at Smiths Beach on Phillip Island, the site is complex due to the protection of native vegetation and habitation by Shearwater birds. This required the siting to be minimally disruptive and the tower to be fabricated off-site and delicately craned onto the site from the adjacent carpark.
The tower also had to be designed for relocation, which included considering the structure’s weight and size limitations for optimal transportation.