In 2004 Warrnambool City Council adopted a master plan for the redevelopment of the iconic Warrnambool Breakwater. A cornerstone of the plan was the development of a multifunction Foreshore Pavilion to provide an activity precinct for the Breakwater area and improve facilities for the local community.
The Warrnambool Foreshore Pavilion project includes:
· Removal of ageing facilities that included a small yacht club rooms and storage yard;
· Construction of a new multi-use two level facility designed to complement the precinct;
· Development of community meeting rooms;
· Visitor Information Centre and Interpretative locations;
· Public Toilets and associated User Change/Shower rooms;
· Viewing Decks and Platforms
· Restaurant café area – Now tenanted as The Pavilion Bar and Café
· Yacht Club/Coast Guard observation tower and radio room
· Associated storage sheds for the Yacht Club, Coast Guard and Warrnambool Offshore Light Game Fishing Club;
· Significant landscaping of area to improve the amenity of the developed area.
The budget for the project was $3.2 million dollars.
Warrnambool City Council prioritised this development due to its high profile amongst the local community and visitors to the City. It aimed to be the cornerstone of the foreshore developments that have occurred over the past number of years, and revitalise the Victorian Heritage Registered Breakwater area. Replacing the ageing Yacht Club building and compound with a greatly enhanced multi-function facility has opened the area to a much wider range of uses by the local community, along with the associated benefits of increased visitor services to our local guests.
The project development stage commenced in 2006, with Warrnambool City Council appointing Ian Perkins – Perkins Architects, to work with a South Warrnambool Reference Group to develop the concept plans for a multi-function foreshore pavilion to replace the ageing Yacht Club building. The community reference group was formed from interested stakeholders that included Warrnambool City Council, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Warrnambool Yacht Club, Warrnambool Volunteer Coast Guard Flotilla and a community representative from the South Warrnambool area. This group was tasked with working with the architects to oversee the development of plans for the project. The Community Reference Group took the project through to approval stage and in August 2008 it made the recommendation to Warrnambool City Council on the final design.
Construction commenced in October 2009 with demolition and removal of the Yacht Club rooms. The new Foreshore Pavilion opened to the public in time for the summer peak season of December 2010. Whist the project has delivered a major new piece of infrastructure that has already changed the way the Breakwater area is perceived and used; its major impact has been in providing a new community facility for the Warrnambool community. In its first 3 months of operations over 23,500 has visited the facility, and 14 community groups have made use of the Community Meeting rooms.
The Foreshore Pavilion is now home to a number of Warrnambool Community Groups, including the:
- Warrnambool Yacht Club
- Volunteer Coast Guard Flotilla VF16
- Warrnambool Offshore Light Game Fishing Club
- A further 11 Warrnambool groups have made use of the rooms on short term use basis.
The environment the building site is in, is a dynamic and exposed coastal location. It requires a range of considerations to be an effective development.
- Wind – The building was conscious of the prevailing south westerly winds and developed to provide a range of use styles to allow for shifting wind directions.
- Dunes -The use of materials including the construction of an artificial sand dune on the western side of the building to achieve the appearance of a continuance of the natural dune systems.
- Views – It is a very beautiful location. Views have been opened to a wide range of new angles that provide the visitors with a range of dynamic viewing experiences.
A number of barriers were overcome by the project management team to establish the Foreshore Pavilion
- Protection of the natural environment – Developing a new facility in a sensitive coastal environment and sand dunes and the need to retain and protect vegetation and the landscape.
- Community expectation – Working with a number of our community groups to meet different needs to develop a common vision for the Foreshore Pavilion and its facilities.
- Limited time frame – to minimise disruption to existing Yacht Club usage, the construction phase was delivered over a 14 month period.
- Services - The need to extensively upgrade electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and telephone services to the site along 700m of Viaduct Road, completed during the development phase of the Foreshore Pavilion.
From the beginning of the project, the adjoining Victorian Heritage Registered Warrnambool Breakwater and sensitive coastal dune systems needed to be considered. Designers drew on the maritime history of the precinct in the selection of large timber beams through the building to provide a sense of strength in the natural environment.
The high priority was the delivery of a wider range of groups to be able to access the facility. Taking the facility from an exclusively Yacht Club building to a wider community facility was paramount in the building design. Community groups were actively involved in the building’s design and use of the limited space that the building had to reside within.