Bondi Pavilion is Up for a $10 Million Makeover

Bondi's 90-year-old beach dweller is finally getting the huge revamp it deserves.
Jasmine Crittenden
March 18, 2015

It's a good time to be a Sydney pavilion, with the highly-publicised revamp of the Coogee Pav and the recent sale of the Manly Pav. Now, the 90-year-old Bondi Pavilion is up for a $10 million revamp, announced by Waverley Council. And if you're a kickass heritage architect, they’re currently looking for expressions of interest to redesign the whole thing.

Whoever scores the role will have quite the job on their hands. On a positive and more self-serving note, this means picking out clothes for the most visible building sticking out of Sydney's most iconic and Instagrammed beach. That's exposure. But not only is the Pavilion one of Sydney’s most famous buildings, it's also a huge hub for the local arts scene, numerous community events and several commercial enterprises. Think The Bucket List and the Rock Surfers Theatre Company, for a start.

The good news is that the Council’s brief calls for an "internal reconfiguration to ensure the building remains a vibrant mix of community, cultural and commercial uses." At the same time, the appointed architect is asked to prioritise the Pavilion’s "heritage fabric", renewing its shabby aspects without losing its sense of history; turning the courtyards into public social areas, possibly with the addition of native gardens and public art; and fancying up the Campbell Parade entrance, which used to be the primary entrance back in the day.


"The Bondi Pavilion has such an amazing history and heritage," says Mayor Sally Betts. "[It] is central to Australian beach culture and it's a key part of Bondi community life." In previous incarnations, the building has served as a Turkish bath house and a dance hall — so here's hoping.

The epic makeover is expected to take up to ten years, beginning in 2017. It forms part of the Council’s Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion Plan of Management, which was finalised in 2014, in collaboration with community input. "As soon as we have the plans, we will go back to our community for them to have input again," Cr Betts told the ABC.

Published on March 18, 2015 by Jasmine Crittenden
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