“We believe in the spirit of place”, says the team at Alexander and Co. This design philosophy has been clearly reflected through one of the firm’s recent projects. Located on one of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines, in Burleigh Heads—a suburb in the city of Gold Coast in Queensland—the Burleigh Pavilion occupies the upper floor and rooftop area of an 80-year-old iconic concrete structure. The historic site was once a meeting area for indigenous Australians, with freshwater and oyster catchments. It also hosted a holiday campsite and skating rink before becoming the Jack Evans swimming pool in 1954. Built over this pool in 1987, the 1,200-square-metre classic pavilion has recently been refurbished by Alexander and Co.
“It has been conceived as a quintessential coastal beach structure, whilst it possesses a narrative which slips between ‘Miami Vice’ and Gold Coast shack: faded pastels, corbeled blockwork and exposed structures”, the design team says. “The building envelope gently reveals itself from behind a fenestrated entry elevation under a great concrete canopy. Two palm trees and extruded metal letters announce its presence. A hint of its retro DNA is seen in circular breeze block whilst tropical gardens flank the entry doors.”
While the lower floor—whose façade was architecturally retouched—continues to be home to the Rick Shores restaurant, Alexander and Co. took care of the upper level that now comprises three food and beverage venues. These venues—the Tropic restaurant, the Beach Bar and the Pavilion—feature aesthetics that are a nod to the coastal pavilion structures from the past.
The central open kitchen with two pizza ovens and a fire pit anchors the space and invites guests to discover the three areas that radiate, offering impressive 50-metre ocean views. Adorned with a rattan ceiling and paved flooring, the restaurant is decorated with mint green chairs, terrazzo tables and plants, creating a fresh atmosphere. The colour scheme continues throughout the Beach Bar where pink and pistachio tables combine with timber benches. Underneath a white umbrella canopy, the outdoor Pavilion bar opens up to a beautiful panorama.
“The Burleigh Pavilion is a coastal story: robust, sun drenched and faded, and filled with greenery and human energy”, the Alexander and Co. team says. “It is the next genesis in the story of Burleigh Heads; a meeting place, still with oysters and ample fresh water.”