New 'pavilion' plans spark debate

Published 6:00am 20 June 2024

New 'pavilion' plans spark debate
Words by Nick Crockford

Concept designs for the new Suttons Beach ‘pavilion’ have drawn mixed reactions - and even calls on social media for the community to have the “deciding vote”.

Plans were released by Moreton Bay City Council after a competition to replace the iconic pavilion, which was beyond repair and demolished.

Twenty-five stage one entries were reduced to a shortlist of three from which five experts unanimously selected the proposal by lahznimmo architects with Plummer & Smith.

Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group (SBPPG), which opposed demolition of the original 87-year-old building, gave the designs qualified support.

A SBPPG spokesperson said the new concept is a “good start” and “there are good positives”, but it is “disappointing this does not capture more art deco features”.

“It is not surprising the public response on social media was overwhelmingly negative,” the spokesperson said.

“Council went to great lengths to consult with the community on architectural style and the majority view was for a building that meets modern needs but captures the importance of the pavilion’s past and its iconic art deco appearance.

“Ensuring the community can again access a café, fish and chippery, restaurant, bar and function space it had in the old pavilion is critical and the businesses’ economic viability has definitely been addressed well. Accessibility is also a big positive.

“What we are looking forward to is a building style that captures community sentiment and while there is scope for refinement, we are hopeful some community sentiment will be addressed and this will eventually be an iconic building and destination in its own right.”

On the Moreton Daily Facebook page, Judy OÇonnor said: “Designs should be put forward for the people to decide.”

Sandy Rogers agreed saying: “The Council needs to listen to the community and come up with a design that truly reflects the spirit if Suttons Beach. The community should have the deciding vote.”

Bec Hunt liked the concept designs: “It’s beachy and summery. A bit Palm Springs even. I really like the covered walkway extension too”.

Bronwen Wilson was less impressed: “Good grief, it looks terrible. I guess if they plant a few trees we’ll all get used to it in time.”

Vicki Whittle questioned: “Where is the shelter/shade for a hot summer’s day?” And Tracey Harper said: “It doesn’t even give tribute to what was there in the first place.”

Neil Dyas was in agreement: “No, totally missed the concept. It’s a beach, make it like an island village.”

Wayne Webster found it “rather disappointing”. “No obvious attempt to include an art deco look, no sun protection on the pergola area and no direct and convenient access to the main street, other than the steep stairway or long former rampway.”

But Dan Mack said: “Stunning. It’s the facelift Redcliffe needs.”

New 'pavilion' plans spark debate
The former Suttons Beach pavilion which had to be demolished

When releasing the designs Mayor Peter Flannery said: “This project will ensure City of Moreton Bay residents, and visitors alike, have access to a thoughtfully designed multi-purpose building, and refreshed park area, they can enjoy for generations to come”.

State Government Architect Leah Lang, one of the judges, said it “demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the site.

“They sought to revitalise the space by bolstering commercial viability, accessibility, social connections and landscape design for everyday activities.”

And lahznimmo architects Director Annabel Lahz said her team “appreciated the significance” of the original art deco pavilion, but “didn’t want to just replicate what was already there”.

“They wanted to create a contemporary pavilion” acknowledging the history of Suttons Beach and “memories it holds for the community”.

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