Australia's Scarborough Beach gets design overhaul with public amphitheatre
The primary intent of the Scarborough Beach Urban Design Master Plan (prepared by Blackwell & Associates) was to reinvigorate the badly run-down infrastructure at this popular coastal tourist node.
The trigger to proceed with Stage 1 of the Master Plan was the City’s successful bid to host the National Surf Life Saving Championships, a major event in Australia, for three years running: 2007-09.
Stage 1 focused on the centrepiece of the Master Plan – the outdoor amphitheatre that was designed to accommodate all manner of sporting and entertainment functions ranging from small community orientated ceremonies, to international events including the Tri-nations Beach Cricket.
Interestingly during the Master Planning phase the amphitheatre was seen primarily as having a passive recreation purpose. However, this role changed significantly during the course of the design development and even through the documentation and construction phases. To this extent the amphitheatre design had to be progressively modified to not only meet Building Code of Australia theatre/venue standards but also the soaring shade structure and integrated event lighting. All this was achieved within the tight and inflexible timeframe available.
The shade structure was engineered for the extreme wind conditions experienced in this coastal location. In addition to hundreds of cubic metres of conventional reinforced concrete footings the design incorporated the whole of the amphitheatre terraced seating to meet the wind-load specification.
The harsh coastal conditions, ie heavily salt-laden winds and high solar UV, combined with comparably harsh, pre-existing social conditions mandated that only the most durable materials and construction techniques could be employed. These included solid granite terraced seating and electro-polished 316 stainless steel furniture detailing, to ensure a long-term sustainable solution.