Scarboro Beach SLSC

Scarboro Beach SLSC

Surf lifesaving is a multifaceted movement that comprises key aspects of voluntary lifeguard services and competitive surf sport.

Originating in early 20th century Australia, the movement has expanded globally to other countries including New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Surf clubs provide wonderful community and cultural benefits.

By their very nature they exemplify what it means to be Australian.

Founded in 1928, Scarboro Surf Lifesaving Club is located on the Esplanade at Scarborough Beach, about 14 kms from Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.

It’s well served through high-frequency public transport, making it easily accessible to the greater Perth metropolitan area.

The Club’s purpose is to cultivate and develop an active and healthy community to generate better and more resilient people through surf life-saving.

In 2018, the Club marked their 90th anniversary and moved into new purpose built facilities designed by Hames Sharley as part of the Scarborough Foreshore Redevelopment project.

The Scarborough Beach redevelopment was a Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) sponsored project.

In 2019, the MRA merged with LandCorp to form DevelopmentWA.

Its ongoing work is transforming Perth into a vibrant, connected city that meets the needs, expectations, and aspirations of a diverse and growing population.

With a unique combination of powers, a thoughtful place-making model, and a skillful, passionate team, DevelopmentWA successfully deliver complex and strategically significant projects where other approaches have floundered.

Their approach to delivering challenging projects is centred on a vision to create dynamic, authentic, and sustainable places within communities where people want to live, work, and visit.

So with that approach and a successful track record, it’s no surprise that the Scarborough Beach redevelopment has become one of Australia’s most iconic urban beach experiences.

The precinct master plan by Arup, transformed a previously disconnected and carpark-dominated beachfront into a bustling promenade filled with skateparks, adventure playgrounds, and amphitheatres.

The principles of the Scarborough Surf Saving Club project emanated from Hames Sharley’s collaboration with the foreshore redevelopment team.

The objectives and design principles for the Scarborough Surf Saving Club were identified early during Hames Sharley led workshops.

Three key design principles emerged:

  • building on Scarborough’s identity
  • creating an activated, integrated, and attractive place
  • defining “what is the role of the Beach services and the SLSC”

Given Hames Sharley’s multi-disciplinary pedigree and capability, they approached the project as an exercise in urban design.

Issues they considered included activation, view corridors, integration, and micro-climate.

All of these elements were analysed with stakeholders before the building forms were developed.

Once these issues were understood, the Hames Sharley design team considered the project as a series of spaces, positioned to enhance and celebrate the overall precinct.

New external spaces were judged to be just as important as the internal spaces.

One of the first decisions taken by the Hames Sharley design team was to split the operational areas on the lower level with the hospitality and managerial areas on the upper promenade.

The lower promenade public pathway splits these two spaces which allows the public to pass through the surf club zone.

Hames Sharley’s design approach centred on the often quoted ‘sand and sea’ that describes the coastal location.

The design of the upper building consists of two forms.

Sand inspired the ‘solid’ form that houses the functional service parts of the precinct.

And Sea prompted the ‘transparent’ forms representing sea froth, realised as permeable enclosures.

Transparency was enhanced with concrete fins, inspired by surfboards and waves, creating a rhythm to the exposed southern elevation of the building.

These fins aren’t just architectural expressions.

They also enable lines of sight from the entry through to the ocean, whilst providing structure and thermal mass for Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) compliance.

The lower facilities are finished with concrete and timber cladding, creating legibility and a sense of tranquility.

The wall that connects the existing limestone turret, the boatshed, and the tower’s southern elevation are all finished in limestone, thereby connecting the new development to the old.

The Hames Sharley team investigated many sustainability initiatives including solar panels, grey water re-use, and meter monitoring.

The most effective measures integrated were passive solutions to minimise energy usage, including fully opening windows and minimising direct sunlight.

Project Details

Completion Date – 2018
Project Budget – $13,000,000
Building Levels – 3

Project Team


Hames Sharley

Evidenced by their delivery of multi-award-winning projects across the disciplines of architecture, interior design, urban design, planning, and landscape design, Hames Sharley are recognised as one of Australia’s leading design firms.

Established in 1976, the practice has studios in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

Civil Engineering


Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, working across every aspect of today’s built environment.

After an initial commission to develop the precinct masterplan, Arup then delivered transportation planning, civil, geotechnical, structural engineering and building services for this project from detailed design through to construction stages.

Mechanical Engineering

Wood & Grieve

Global design firm Stantec has acquired Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE).

An award-winning, engineering consulting company, WGE provides civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, hydraulics engineering, and a broad range of related specialty services for clients throughout Australia.

The firm brings more than 600 talented engineers and specialists distributed across offices in Albany, Busselton, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

Building Surveyor

Philip Chun

Philip Chun is Australia’s largest multi-disciplinary consulting company providing building code, fire & life safety, accessibility and essential safety measures to the construction and development industry.


Georgiou Group

Georgiou provides a diverse range of civil and building construction services to government and private clients across Australia.


Joel Barbitta

Joel is a well-established and respected commercial photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.

He specialises in high end architectural photography and has worked on a wide scope of photographic projects for many clients throughout Australia and internationally.

Photo Gallery

Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge.

Design © 2020 Hames Sharley. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2020 Joel Barbitta. All Rights Reserved.

The Builtworks Quest

At Builtworks, we’re on a multi-year quest to document, showcase, and spotlight the best of Australia’s built environment.

That’s why we’re creating this comprehensive online archive and educational resource that showcases a diverse and eclectic range of project types and scales.

Together with showcasing older exemplars of enduring merit, we spotlight and celebrate the very best new and recent additions to Australia’s built environment.

Scarboro Beach Services and Surf Club
Article Name
Scarboro Beach Services and Surf Club
Hames Sharley designed new facilities for the Scarboro SLSC at Scarborough Beach, approximately 14 kms from Perth in Western Australia.
Publisher Name
Builtworks | Celebrating Australia's Built Environment