Foreshore Amenities

Zen Architects

The amenities at Sandringham foreshore sit with the contours of the land and allude to the local landscape and the history of the site. These small scale interventions are conceived as parts in the larger scale coastal environment of Port Philip Bay, positively affecting larger natural systems and letting the landscape do the talking. The buildings and their siting improve safety and accessibility, and allow views to the water, beach, cliffs and coastal vegetation.

The structures are lightweight to reduce embodied energy and ground disturbance at the sensitive foreshore locations. The crouched, bent forms are a deliberate departure from the rectilinear forms and gable roofs in the area, while materials are drawn from the local context, including timber walkways and structural framing, weathering steel cladding, and clear roofs with timber batten shading.

The verandahs on the front of each building provide degrees of protection and openness to views, wind and sunlight. The roof forms are designed to harvest rain water and accommodate solar panels for water and energy conservation, and erosion management. The sloped walls minimise disruption to wind patterns and the buildings are permeable, allowing filtered sunlight and bay breezes into the interior environment.

Predominantly timber structure, combined with familiar construction methods and cladding materials produced a highly cost effective architectural outcome, while responding to the many lightweight beachside buildings in the local area. Siting and visibility, orientation and access, materials and finishes are all geared to reverse the negative human behaviour associated with toilet blocks and redirect attention to the natural environment, to reconnect to place.