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Bondi Pavilion Gets A Facelift

By Kate Myers on February 3, 2016 in News

Photo: Waverley Council

Photo: Waverley Council

The Bondi Pavilion is as much of an icon as Bondi Beach itself, towering above the promenade as a reminder of the area’s rich history, and last month Waverley Council released a concept design to restore the building to its former glory, hiring heritage architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer to take on the project.

According to Waverley Mayor Sally Betts, the restoration is a priority for the council.

“This design concept provides us with an amazing opportunity to restore the Pavilion to its architectural roots whilst reconnecting it with the beach, park and Campbell Parade,” she said.

The plans outline the historical importance of the building, its heritage features, and the need to retain the original character and purpose of the Pavilion. With an estimated cost of around $38 billion dollars, the project marks the beginning of a refurbishment of the beachfront.

“It is an historic, culturally significant and iconic landmark at a site which is the second most visited place in Sydney,” a Council spokesperson said. “The Bondi Pavilion Upgrade & Conservation Project is a major part of the roll out of our 10-year plan of management for Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion.”

“Community feedback has overwhelmingly been that the Pavilion is an important and much loved iconic heritage landmark, but it badly needs upgrade and repair.”

The planned upgrade is extensive, with a number of crucial components including the restoration of the grand proscenium entrance from Campbell Parade, and reinstating the original symmetry of the building true to its former layout.

There is also the inclusion of more public amenities, with a doubling of the existing female public toilets, additional change rooms and family spaces, dedicated toilets for tenancies and a proposed theatre space.

Rita Cole, a former precinct representative, current attendee and Bondi resident for nearly 60 years, said the upgrade will change the relevance of the Pavilion for the local community.

“I think an upgrade is well overdue,”Ms Cole said. “There are a lot of people who would not go and visit the Pavilion as it is now. We need more public facilities, a creative space for films and exhibitions, a cafe, and better access for the disabled and elderly.”

Whilst many details regarding occupancy are yet to be finalised, it is understood that the Pavilion will cater to both cultural and commercial interests.

“We would expect that the site will be an attractive place for festivals – such as for art, music, writing and drama,” a council spokesperson said. “Music programs, band rehearsals, choir rehearsals and dance classes will continue to be held.”

There is some concern about the effect of the plan on existing businesses, but according to Council’s spokesperson, it is hoped that the Pavilion upgrade will respond to the needs of locals and tourists alike. “It is envisioned that this will revitalise the Pavilion as a place for visitors and community members to enjoy, connect and relax,” he said. “The new concept focuses on celebrating and restoring the building’s heritage.”