Merewether Surfhouse

Client:   Sailors’ Rock PTY. LTD.
Location:   Merewether Beach, Newcastle
Area:   1,600m² NLA
Status:   Completed 2011

The re-development of Merewether Surfhouse provided a unique opportunity to develop a significant beachside facility to cater for a diverse range of community and commercial activities, and to enhance the beach experience and public amenity at Merewether Beach. The development sought to make a positive contribution to the beach experience by creating a memorable meeting place to reinvigorate the southern end of the beach and ocean baths, and by providing a unique destination for Newcastle locals and visitors alike.

Crone Partners’ expertise in liaising with and managing the local community groups, design excellence panels and local council ensured the project was successfully approved for development.Our long established experience in urban design added an extra dimension to the projectincorporating a masterplan for the re-development of the broader foreshore area. The development consists of a new three level pavilion style structure. The typography of the site is utilised to gain direct access to each level of the building, and allows the building to form a connection between Henderson Parade and Merewether Beach.

The ground floor of the building is accessed straight from the beach and offers a casual café experience spilling out onto the promenade, a kiosk counter and public change room amenities. Level two houses flexible column free function facilities catering for private and community events, and includes a verandah to the east and a protected terrace to the west. The third floor consists of a restaurant, lounge and outdoor terrace bar. The architecture is based on a simple pavilion form that maximises views and aspect whilst capturing the unique beachside experience of the site.

The transparency of the main structure is designed to activate the public domain and allow views through the building to the beach. The pavilion is connected to the street at the upper level, utilising a timber clad sculptural form that contains the core and back of house areas, as well as defining the main entry to the building. This timber element anchors the main body of the building to the embankment, provides a strong visual identity, and ensures the building maintains contextual and environmental coherence. The building’s curved roof form floats over the pavilion in response to its beachside context.