Coogee Beach Surf Lifesavers Pavilion

Finalist 2018

The Pavilion provides voluntary lifesavers with facilities to operate from, as well as a public amenity block of toilets, showers and change rooms. The clients wanted to engage with a design team who could build upon the unique and playful character of Coogee, while still meeting the strict requirements for signage and wayfinding within a public amenity facility. The functional aim was to assist with the public’s use of the space as well as soften the contemporary architecture.

The signage and graphics became more than images on the walls as the team used tiles to create large pictograms and patterns. There are playful and subtle details in the shower blocks like water spouts emerging from bulkheads or measuring guides for children to see how they have grown each time they use the facility. This approach resulted in a number of signage and graphics being completely integrated with the materials and aesthetic of the architecture and interiors. The aesthetic was derived from the visual qualities associated with Australia’s beaches and surf lifesavers. The two tones of blue are inspired by the surf caps worn by the Coogee volunteers while the all-caps stencil typeface is a font typically used around the surrounding area for beach signage.

The design solution takes the typical amenity building typology and flips it on its head. This is a space to be celebrated, a space to be used and a space for locals to be proud of. It embodies the key characteristics of Coogee and uses large scale and playful pictograms in association with smaller regulatory signage requirements typically dictated by codes, while at the same time integrating completely with the architecture and interiors of the space.

Design Firms: 

Urbanite (Part of Frost Collective)


Brewster Hjorth Architects, Randwick City Council

Project Area: 

5,700 sq ft

Open Date: 

August 2017

Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Tyrone Branigan (photography)

Design Team: 

Adam Longo (design manager), Henry Ellis-Paul (senior designer), Anthony Donovan (creative director)


Brewster Hjorth Architects


AW Signs (signage fabrication), Cockram

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