The Coogee Beach Centre

The Coogee Beach Centre, Brewster Hjorth Architects

Coogee Beach is one of Syndey's busiest surf beaches, hosting thousands of visitors on a hot summer day. The new centre is positioned almost at sand level in the centre of the beach. It is a beautiful yet robust building, designed to cope with the ravages of sand, salt spray and sea water. 

The new centre has a long frontage to the lower promenade created by innovative electro plated steel slat high lift doors which open upwards to create a completely open facade. The building extends back under the grassed parklands above. Frameless glass steps set into the grass slope provide light down into the new change facilities below. 

The building includes new public change and toilet facilities with a large centrally accessed family change area, kiosk, first aid centre and an Operations Centre for the Lifeguards. 

The earth sheltered structure takes advantage of stable underground temperatures to control internal comfort. Natural light shines into the change areas through glass roof steps. Large tilt up doors form the east facade which open to allow the sea breeze through the building. The doors, when open create a large awning providing shade to public spaces. 

The building collects rainwater from its roof which is filtered and stored for toilet flushing and irrigation. Showers and toilet facilities have timing sensors to control water usage. The sustainability of the facility extends to the robust fabric and structure that has been designed to withstand possible tidal storm surges and the harsh marine environment.