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Past Project in Detail

Bribie Island Surf Lifesaving Club - Design of Refurbished Clubhouse


Current Bribie Island SLC clubhouse (Western view)   Adele & Michael's design for Refurbished Clubhouse (Western view)   L to R:  Michael Slocombe, Adele Letford (QUT students), members of Bribie Island SLC Committee  

A New Look for Bribie Island Surf Lifesaving Club

The Bribie Island Surf Club is one of the oldest community organisations in the Caboolture Shire and this year they are celebrating 80 years of patrolling Woorim Beach.

It was time for a facelift and upgrade of Club facilities to reflect the increased numbers and diversity of its members. Since the Club was built in 1964, the ‘face’ of Lifesaving has changed dramatically. ‘Nippers’ were introduced to the Club at the end of the 1960’s and female members have been allowed since 1980 - so, as you can imagine, club facilities have become inadequate. The Club’s membership now consists of ~200 nippers, 125 senior members and 2,000 supporters club members.

It is essential for the Club to minimise their re-development costs, so that most of their budget is spent on the upgrading/maintenance of lifesaving equipment and training. So, in the community spirit of the project, Tony Kippen and the Club Committee approached the CEED Program and offered their project to students. Adele Letford, QUT 4th year Architecture student and Michael Slocombe, QUT final year Civil Engineering student enthusiastically took up the challenge.

Adele and Michael’s objectives were to come up with a design that would meet the following criteria:

· Increased storage space

· Increased female facilities to accommodate the growing female membership

· Increased training facilities for both members and non-members

· Increased combined office space; and

· Inclusion of a gymnasium into the surf club building

They needed to incorporate these changes to the existing clubhouse, whilst preserving the members’ private lounge and informal meeting areas, maintaining the structural integrity of the clubhouse and ensuring a practical compromise between the structure and aesthetics of the building. Of course, the design must also comply with Australian Standards and the appropriate building codes. The design that Adele and Michael have come up with takes into account the ‘essence’ of Bribie Island’s laid-back beach culture. It incorporates breeze blocks (a building material used extensively in the current clubhouse), bare/exposed building materials (beams, etc) and uses a tent metaphor in remembrance of the tent ‘city’ that used to spring up each school holiday period, behind the existing clubhouse.

The value of this project to the Bribie Island community was also an important factor in the planning. Through creating a re-development, which is more aesthetically pleasing and able to accommodate increased membership, a safer beach environment will be created for the wider community, thus fulfilling the objectives of this community project.

As mentioned earlier, the budget for the Club’s re-development is not large! The Club is maximising their budget by utilising the many tradespeople and labour from within the club during the construction phase, students for the design phase, and they are very keen to secure sponsorship by building products companies – for the various materials needed.

Michael and Adele have conducted many site visits and consultations with the Club’s committee to ensure their designs meet the Club’s requirements, they’ve met with EPA, Council and qualified engineers to check the many Standards and other requirements, and have now completed their detailed designs. At the time of writing this article, their designs/plans have been signed-off by qualified engineers, and will soon be submitted to Caboolture Shire Council for DA approval (end April). Construction is scheduled to commence in May, subject to approvals being granted.

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