Try a new search >
   -   National Australian Institute of Architects Award for Public Architecture
   -   The Australian Institute of Architects Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture (VIC)

Seaford Life Saving Club
by Robert Simeoni Pty Ltd



The commission of the Seaford Lifesaving Club was won through an open national design competition. In the detailed development of the brief the ambitions of the client (Frankston city Council) and it's financial capacity lead to an attitude towards building and detailing that was accepting of rawness and forthrightness as an appropriate and possibly beautiful quality. This is especially evident in the interior architecture where the natural ‘feel' of timber is used throughout on floors, walls and ceilings to help focus on the essential quality of the spaces and their relationships to one another, the surrounding dunescape and sea beyond. There is a cultivated sense of deep space running through the north/south axis, with shaded spaces looking out upon the sunbleached. The materiality of the interiors develops a sense of the exterior, these spaces are lined with plywood and balustrades replaced with steel mesh cyclone fencing maintaining the connectiveness between spaces. This is consistent with the manner in which materials have been chosen for their durability, plainness and affordability. The detailing is carefully designed to be direct and easy-to-build, junctions and lines exposed in an unfussy manner consistent with the

buildings’ use and the barefoot beachside manner of its users. Spotted gum folding screens with marine grade stainless steel hardware create an additional skin important for curbing vandalism while the club is not in use, but also for buffering cold winds, filtering unwanted summer sun and in tandem with the glass behind, to guide valuable cross-ventilation throughout internal spaces – a necessity where high-tech E.S.D. solutions were simply beyond the budget. Rather than a building, this design is a collection of buildings with residual outdoor spaces that strive for an ambiguity between their being still, in the manner of a courtyard or busy, in the manner of a corridor. By configuring the folding screens in differing ways these outdoor spaces are manipulated to control accessibility and allow the club interiors to be used in zones by its members, the general community and various user groups. The project’s use is then adaptable to purpose, depending on the time of year or time of day. There is an orchestrated and intentional overlap between interiors and adjacent exteriors as well as a concern for view-lines and the visual layering that becomes legible only by seeing through spaces into others and beyond into the (cropped) distance.

Frankston, VIC
Robert Simeoni Pty Ltd
03 93474411
Project Team
Design architect: Robert Simeoni
Design architect: Robert Simeoni
Project manager: Garry Slack , FCC
Structural consultant: Perrett Simpson Pty Ltd
Landscape consultant: Rush Wright Associates
Services consultant: ATG Consultants Pty Ltd
Quantity consultant: DDH Pty Ltd
Builder: McMahon + Utri
-: Jenny Malacchini
-: Jonathan Wong
-: Ben Sztainbok
-: Jenny Malacchini
-: Jonathan Wong
-: Ben Sztainbok
Planning Consultant: Ratio
Disability Consultant: Blythe Sanderson
Coastal Engineer: Dr. Eric Bird
Land Surveyor: JCA Land Consultants
Photographer: Brendan Finn (Mein Photo)
Photographer: Brendan Finn (Mein Photo)
Photographer: Brendan Finn (Mein Photo)
Photographer: Brendan Finn (Mein Photo)

Photographs by Brendan Finn (Mein Photo), Brendan Finn (Mein Photo), Brendan Finn (Mein Photo) & Brendan Finn (Mein Photo), text by Robert Simeoni Pty Ltd

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects