To visit Bondi Beach is the desire of many visitors to Sydney, and while the joys of surf, sun and sand are plentiful, the built environment of Bondi is not so enticing. The former North Bondi Life Saving Club building was a brick and tiled roof rectangular box with small windows and no engagement with its location that wouldn’t rate a second look, so for that site to be transformed by this building is a true wonder. And due to the addition of a basement level, the new building has a smaller footprint than the old one had.
The new North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club is a curving, shimmering, sensuous insertion into the beach landscape. A bit sandy in colour here, a bit watery in colour there – all done without seeming obvious – with every corner, edge, junction and detail carefully considered as part of the overall composition and the total experience for users and passers-by alike. This is a private building for surf life saving club members, yet the architects have carved and cut the fabric to allow glimpses into, interactions with, and sometimes full views through the building.
Smart, sensitive and sensuous, and if you happen to be there during Sunday afternoon drinks you may even get the chance to have a peek inside too.
Architect: Durbach Block Jaggers and Peter Colquhoun
Photographer: Stephen Varady
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