North Bondi Amenities by Sam Crawford Architects with Lymesmith
Small Project Architecture: National Award
Australian Institute of Architects
A day at the beach is an immersion in the elements: ocean swell, burning sun, driving wind, sand underfoot. This delightful pavilion amplifies these experiences and makes its purpose legible through revealing functional elements such as communal basins, with jaunty circular mirrors set at variable heights for adults and kids. An extended roofline provides shade, generously oversailing convenient bench seating for passers-by.
This facility works to the limit, providing toilets, external showers, change rooms and even a cleverly integrated bus stop on the main street interface. The soft form and recurring circular motif talk to its marine setting, while a horizontal cantilevered roof, complete with a “crew cut” of pigface and coastal grasses, somehow connects to the indelible memory of the sky and sea. The exterior is tightly draped in vertical, salvaged hardwood battens, with a “high-water mark” expressed through variegated colour. With increased height at the rear of the pavilion, the battens deftly disguise an existing Sydney Water pumphouse. These battens are charred and extend beyond the building height, providing a filtered transition to the sky.
A colour consultant and a graphic designer collaborated closely with the architects to develop an understated colour palette and playful wayfinding. Through this modestly scaled project, the architect has reinforced our affinity with the great Aussie beach experience.
North Bondi Amenities was reviewed by Casey Bryant in Architecture Australia Sept/Oct 2017.