Historic Suttons Beach Pavilion Demolished Amidst Mixed Reactions

The Suttons Beach Pavilion, a historic and cultural landmark of the Redcliffe community for nearly nine decades, has been demolished, marking the end of a significant era in the bayside suburb’s history.

Located at 50 Marine Parade, Redcliffe, the pavilion was originally constructed in 1937 as a bathing pavilion and has since hosted countless significant life events, from weddings to casual gatherings.

On 27 March 2024, the demolition was executed amidst a wet and sombre atmosphere. It came after the Moreton Bay City Council decided to rebuild the facility following a 2022 assessment by Covey Associates. 

This assessment revealed that the pavilion suffered from structural issues and failed to meet contemporary building standards. Despite discussions about renovation, the council and community ultimately leaned towards reconstruction for practicality and cost-efficiency.

Residents of Redcliffe displayed mixed reactions to the demolition, expressing sadness over the loss of the historic structure and optimism about the future redevelopment.

Photo Credit: Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group/Facebook

The Moreton Bay Council has initiated an architectural design competition, inviting submissions from across Australia to shape the new pavilion’s design. Stages of the competition are already underway.

Extensive community feedback on the site’s future use, preferred architectural styles, and the broader master planning for the park, including potential foreshore activations, will also be undertaken to ensure that redevelopment will accommodate community needs, attract tourists, and support local businesses.

The Project Manager has also replied to the Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group INC, a concerned community group, regarding the progress of the competition.

“We have invited architects via Stage One to submit an expression of interest in the competition and the jury is reviewing those applications,” the project manager stated.

“We are hoping to advise and publish the shortlisted parties on our website in the coming weeks. The shortlisted architects will further develop their designs which will then be seen and reviewed by the appointed jury members, and the winning design will be announced and shared with the community in mid-2024.

“In terms of activity on the site, Council has been diligently working with our contractor to safely demolish the existing Suttons Beach Pavilion Structures. During the demolition works we have discovered a second old floor slab tucked under Pavilion 2 and material under and behind the existing retaining wall behind Pavilion 2. Both issues have now been addressed with the second slab removed and a new section of retaining wall being constructed.”

“Currently, the contractor is carefully anchoring the retaining wall behind Pavilion 1 to maintain bank stability as the building is removed. Demolition of Pavilion 1 is expected to commence in the coming week. Removal of Pavilion 1 will also include the salvage of the red bricks where reasonable and feasible to do so.”

The demolition signifies the pavilion’s physical removal and evokes reflection on the balance between preserving history and making way for progress. As the community awaits the unveiling the new pavilion design, the legacy of the old Suttons Beach Pavilion will undoubtedly continue to resonate with many.

Published 30-March-2024

Suttons Beach Pavilion to Get a New Look with National Architectural Design Competition

The much-loved Suttons Beach Pavilion is set to undergo a remarkable transformation, following the announcement of a national architectural design competition aimed at breathing new life into this charming waterfront location from the 1930s.

The Suttons Beach Pavilion, a historical Art Deco structure that has long been cherished by the community, was recently shrouded in construction fencing. A comprehensive report deemed it beyond repair and too costly to salvage. 

Consequently, the Moreton Bay City Council has made the bold decision to replace the dilapidated pavilion with a cutting-edge design that will redefine the area.

Embracing Architectural Excellence

This ambitious project has drawn inspiration from iconic structures around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, and Washington’s White House, which were brought to life through architectural design competitions.

Now, Australia’s finest architects are invited to participate in a national competition to design a new building that will stand in place of the deteriorating Suttons Beach Pavilion.

Suttons Beach Pavilion
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Envisioning the Future of Suttons Beach

Mayor Peter Flannery expressed his vision for the project, emphasising that the winning design will go beyond just replacing the existing structure. It will encompass a comprehensive plan to enhance the entire waterfront site, including provisions for restaurants, a rooftop public space, and shower and toilet facilities. 

The council is committed to preserving as many historical materials as possible to retain a sense of the area’s rich heritage.

“We understand the significance of the previous Suttons Beach Pavilion to the local community, and the new building design will consider the history of the site, as well as extensive community feedback,” said Mayor Flannery.

Community Involvement and Expert Guidance

Residents had the opportunity to contribute their ideas for the replacement building’s design and style during March and April. These valuable suggestions are expected to shape the design brief for the competition.

The Moreton City Council has engaged the Australian Institute of Architects to ensure that industry best practices are followed throughout the competition. The institute’s endorsement will further solidify the competition guidelines and model.

Suttons Beach Pavilion
Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Project with a Timeline

The architectural design competition will officially launch in mid-November 2023, with the hope of having a shortlist of architects ready to compete in the second stage by early 2024. The winning design will be announced by July 2024.

Suttons Beach Pavilion Preservation Group secretary Karen Whittam expressed excitement and positivity within the community, noting that the contest signifies a significant step towards rejuvenating the Suttons Beach precinct. She also pointed out that the council’s investment in top architects will contribute to the project’s success.

As the vision for Suttons Beach takes shape, it promises to bring new opportunities for employment and economic development to the area. The precinct is an integral part of the Redcliffe Peninsula’s tourism offering, and its revitalisation will ensure that the City of Moreton Bay remains an attractive place to live, work, visit, and invest in the future.

Published 28-Oct-2023

Engineering Firm Tasked to Investigate Structural Integrity of the Iconic Suttons Beach Pavillion

Redcliffe residents are not giving up on the iconic Suttons Beach Pavillion amidst reports that an engineering firm was awarded $363,000 to investigate the building’s structural integrity for potential redevelopment.

Covey Associates has received a tender for the social venue’s investigative work after it was previously marked for demolition due to its age. The engineering firm is expected to take 26 weeks to determine whether the pavilion should be refurbished or completely demolished.

In February 2022, Suttons Beach Pavillion closed permanently upon the orders of the landlords and Moreton Bay Council. Residents, however, contested the orders because there was no public consultation about the demolition plans. 

Up until then, the site has remained a popular venue for dining and celebrations and was even open to welcome visitors, albeit within the safety guidelines, at the height of the pandemic restrictions. More than 14,000 have signed the petition to stop the demolition, prompting the Council to reconsider other options. Another in-paper petition with over 23,000 signatures was also submitted to the Council.

For many Redcliffe residents, the pavilion is the heart and soul of the community thus it is worth saving.

In May 2022, Mayor Peter Flannery entered into an agreement with the Redcliffe Peninsula Surf Lifesaving Club to move into the property, if Covey Associates finds that the building can be restored. 

“One of the options being considered is the development of a refurbished/new community focused building along the lines of the intent of the original 1930s Pavilion. This could include public toilets, showers and change rooms, a café/kiosk and potentially a bistro with some space for public gatherings/events.

“The Council and the Club agree in principle that there is significant merit in exploring the potential for the Club to occupy and manage a refurbished/new Suttons Beach Pavilion. As a community not-for-profit organisation, the Club sees significant potential benefits for its members and the broader community in providing a range of surf club facilities including casual public dining.”

If it’s restored, the next step is to fund the construction project. Federal MP Luke Howarth said $5 million should be set aside for the project in the upcoming budget and he will work this out with the government. 

Constructed in 1937, the art deco pavilion had its last refurbishment in early 2000, which Council said significantly altered the building’s integrity. Apparently, previous tenants of the site didn’t conduct regular maintenance.