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From the city to the beach: Australia’s newest surf club building

This project is a rare look at a new surf club building – with Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club being one of the first new Australian surf clubs to be built in decades.

While Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club was established in 1958, its new building was completed in 2017, designed by Arkhefield. After multiple renovations of the original building, the club decided to build a new facility that would reflect the club’s status within the surfing community while also embracing and engaging with the community as a whole.

With panoramic views of the beach on one side and the buzz of the Broadbeach holiday precinct on the other, the new surf club represents the point where the city meets the beach.

It was important to address this in the building’s design, according to architect and project leader Anne Sulinski.

“The roof serves as a counterpoint to the verticality of the Gold Coast cityscape beyond. Its playful horizontal form reflects its natural beach surroundings and emphasises the transition from urban to beach environment,” she says.

At the heart of the design however, is an emphasis on civic identity.

According to Arkhefield, civic identity is created through a dynamic street sunscreen, while the generous lightweight filded roof metaphorically alludes to beach umbrellas, sand dunes or waves.

It was important that the club feel non-exclusive and inviting for everyone; the intent is that the public will be drawn to the building with shade, shelter and activity even when the club is closed. In addition to an outdoor room and café, the public front door, lounge bar deck and dining room are located to generate activity and interest in the public domain, including a connection back to the Broadbeach Mall beyond.

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