Seaford Life Saving Club

This design addresses the complex needs of sustainability, local community and natural ecology by proposing Seaford LSC as a precinct that responds to and enhances the unique qualities of the site. To achieve this, 4 key strategies guide the architecture and planning: minimal intervention, propagation, harvesting and activation.

A portal frame structure supported on pile footings has been adopted in order to reduce the adverse impact of the buildings on the dune ecosystem through erosion. All flooring is raised above ground level with the provision of access ramps from the car park side. Prefabrication processes would be implemented to minimize on-site construction.

 The cladding system at ground level is designed as stacked “sand-shelves” - for the retention of windblown sand - an additional anchor for the propagation of grasses and local plant species. The intention is to foster growth of the dune ecosystem at the interface of architecture and landscape.

To address both ocean views west and provide north orientation, the Seaford LSC is arranged as a suite of buildings. Solar energy is captured by either transpired solar air heaters or concrete floor panels on all northerly aspects to supplement winter heating. Vertical “sun-visors” offer protection to the ocean-facing west elevation in summer. Rainwater is collected from all horizontal surfaces of the building, courtyard and car park and stored in underground tanks.

As a set of single storey buildings, the Seaford LSC can accommodate independent activities while cultivating social interaction through a centrally located courtyard. Protected from prevailing winds, this raised platform connects each pavilion; splicing together natural landscape, life saving club and community.

Echoing the structure of dune grasses, the building envelopes reflect the dynamic environmental and programmatic influences on the site.


Completed: 2005 (competition entry)
Design:  Andrew Simpson, Owen West
Project Team: Andrew Simpson, Owen West in collaboration with Mark Bol