Bondi Pavilion Conservation and Restoration Project
An arts and community icon at the heart of Bondi Beach has been given a new lease on life
From a ballroom, Turkish bath and concert hall to a theatre, amphitheatre and community centre, the Pavilion has always figured large in the local landscape for residents and visitors to iconic Bondi Beach for nearly 100 years.
With the Pavilion’s Heritage significance, the conservation and restoration works were complex, consisting of major structural, remedial, and civil works. Sensitivity was meticulously maintained around protecting and restoring the original finishes. Historically significant features were unearthed such as the Aboriginal mosaic, community painted murals in the courtyard, artist’s murals in the theatre and remnant signage and graphics of a previous life.
With Waverley Council’s eye firmly on the future, their goal was to take the opportunity for the Pavilion to be a national and global leader in sustainability. Through innovative environmental technology the Pavilion will be certified a Five Star Green Star Rated Australian Building of Excellence, forging its way towards net zero accreditation.
The project’s journey:
Discovery: The Pavilion was built on sand which created major structural issues, so a redesign of the foundations resulted in over 200 screw piles being installed to support the new and existing structures, a very complex process due to the inconsistency of the in-ground conditions and asbestos discovered during demolition.
Whilst installing an 800WB steel beam to create the larger opening to the atrium, remnants of an old tunnel under Campbell Parade used by bathers to discreetly walk from the change sheds in the courtyard to the beach, was discovered resulting in an archaeological investigation to determine its historical significance and what measures needed to be taken to minimise any further deterioration.
Along with the discovery of the original tiles from the Turkish Bath era of the 1930s was a vent fan found in the ceiling which has been restored and mounted in the Bondi Story corridor.
Features: The precast elements that forge the new to the old, aesthetically represent the waves of the sea in the courtyard and the Y-columns and beams support the ‘skylight’ glazing, bringing natural light into the centre of the atrium at the heart of the Pavilion.
Replacing the old grey concrete roof tiles from the 1960s with 33,000 beautiful handmade Italian Cordova tiles in terracotta and jewel colours representative of buildings of the same period, gives the Pavilion the rightful prominence it deserves.
The Pavilion is now open from the Gatehouse on Campbell Parade all the way through to Queen Elizabeth Drive and the beach and features new toilet and shower amenities, broadcasting and music studios, bar and theatre, welcome centre and box office, flexible cultural spaces, Bondi Story room, pottery studio, art gallery, open courtyards, restored murals and Aboriginal mosaic.
Fun fact: The 217 solar panels will contribute 71% of the Pavilion’s power consumption.
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects