The Surf Club at Muriwai

Completion date
Sports & Recreation

A major park destination, Muriwai Beach is visited by over 1.3 million New Zealanders and international tourists annually. Its surf lifesavers are a vital service to the beach, and the surf club is a focal point for the area's tight-knit community.

The previous 1970s surf club had battled sand-dune erosion for many years. The new facility needed to address this issue, whilst being many things for many people; a base for various local sports, leisure and interest groups, a purpose-designed educational facility, a community gathering point, and the foundation of a strong and prosperous ongoing volunteer lifeguard service.

Consultation with the local community and existing facility identified that the surf club was their second home; 'their club', 'their beach'. This insight, along with the location's wild, windswept nature, led to a concept based on the iconic Kiwi bach. As a result, finishes are simple and robust, ensuring easy maintenance and allowing the building to sit respectfully in its coastal surroundings.

Likewise, the building welcomes everyone. A range of activates are accommodated with the maximisation of outdoor space, expansive wash down decks, separate gear access and a social courtyard sheltered from the prevailing wind. The club facilities extend to the local community, with accommodation included.

Spaces are arranged to provide quick access surf-lifesaving equipment without interfering with other functions, and to allow multiple users at one time.

The building was located 300m further inland to counter erosion. The low-lying form follows the site's gentle slope closely, with facilities either side of a ramped public circulation route to the club's public social space. Opening to a courtyard to the east, and deck to the west, this social space provides a multi-purpose gathering place for events, functions and teaching. A second building form sits lightly atop the social area, containing accommodation and a lounge, orientated towards a magnificent view of the beach.


  • 2014 Property Council NZ Tourism & Leisure Property Award, Merit
  • 2014 NZ Commercial Project Awards - Silver - Tourism and Leisure
  • 2013 NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards - Public Architecture
Greg Boyden Principal
John Davis Architectural Artist
Gary Foster Registered Architect
Rose Fox Registered Architect
John Hawkins Registered Architect
Jeremy Jones Team Member
Euan Mac Kellar Principal Auckland
Phone+64 9 367 0437 Mobile+64 21 408 148 Save Contact
Sean Monro Landscape Architect
Phillipa Nihotte Registered Architect - Associate Principal Auckland
Graham Rose Team Member
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