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