Drawing inspiration from the surrounding context of the beach, dunes and breaking surf, the new Surf Lifesaving tower at Waimarama Surf Lifesaving Club has fused together form and function.
In function, the control tower acts as the crucial link between the sea and the shoreline. The representation of both the solidity of the concrete structure , seemingly growing from the ground, is overlaid by the lighter semi-transparent elements of timber and steel form of the rear screen which is an extension to the roof upper form – alluding to the breaking surf beyond.
Un-swayed and un-moving, the body of the Tower offers safe harbour to those inside, to observe and to protect, to see and to hear. For those outside it signifies faith and security. In form, the roof form references the breaking surf on the beach. The main body of the roof is a solid body, under which the Cabin sits, and then as the roof line descends to the sand the slatted timber screen filters the light alluding to the feathered & leading edge of a breaking wave.
The solidity of the supporting structural from is reminiscent of wharf piers which in turn allows the entire building to cantilever over the dunes below. This cantilever performs a crucial role, allowing the tower to be perched over the dune allowing increased visibility & sightlines across the Surf clubs patrol area and out to sea to Bare island. A pallet of natural and sympathetic colours and materials have been employed to reflect the beach area context, this is juxtaposed with splashes of colour [Yellow and Red] which are easily identifiable markers of Surf lifesaving throughout New Zealand. The use of Green tinted glass not only helps reduce solar gains but is a direct reflection of the green in shore waters, this is rounded out with the use of natural timbers which will grey off over time to reference driftwood on the beach.