But not only is the Muriwai Lifeguard Service clubroom building — which opened in February 2013 after a nine-month build — a modern lifesaving headquarters, but it also serves as the new community hub, uniquely designed for a variety of purposes and catering for the needs of the entire community.
“Primarily it has to be available 24 hours a day, 12 months a year for New Zealand’s busiest surf lifesaving club at Muriwai,” according to Tim Jago, chair of building owners the Muriwai Lifeguard Services Amenities Trust.
“We had to ensure that this wasn’t compromised in any way. But the architects got the design absolutely right to allow for flexibility of spaces and multiple uses.
“When we first sat down with Naylor Love (which has experience of a myriad of buildings and projects) they were able to interpret what we wanted, adding functionality to the building as well as eliminating many of the construction costs.”
The finished facility, situated just 35 minutes from Auckland’s CBD, has been purpose built to support a wide range of uses — from preschool playgroups to conferences, weddings to meetings — with up to four groups able to use the building at the same time.
Two years since opening its doors, more than 65,000 people have visited the facilities, and it has been used for numerous events, as well as being home to nine local community groups and sports teams, aside from the Muriwai volunteer surf lifesaving club.
The building — which creates multiple options by organising primary spaces around a central circulation spine so as to keep individual spaces separate — impressed judges at last year’s New Zealand Commercial Project Awards, winning a silver in the Tourism and Leisure category.
Every primary space also opens outdoors to allow potential for socialising outside, delivering demonstrations or just enjoying the impressive views and atmosphere.
Located in an expansive coastal park, the building materials have been chosen to fit within their natural environment.
Grey-stained timber matches the building’s beach locale, while internal walls are lined with plywood to give a robust surface and generate a “bach-like” feel. The ground floor is exposed concrete to allow sand to be easily swept outside.
Despite challenges around securing various forms of public and private funding, the project team made up of Naylor Love Construction, architects Jasmax and engineers Mark Plan Consulting, created a highly flexible build programme that could change quickly as new funding became available.
The finished building — completed one month ahead of schedule — surpassed everyone’s expectations, and has delivered three times more usage than originally forecast.
“We’ve had no breakages, no failures and everyone’s happy and totally admiring of the quality of the building and the workmanship involved,” Mr Jago says.