Almost 60 years after it was constructed, Portsea Surf Lifesaving Club's clubhouse has been restored for a new generation.
In 1960, the original Portsea Surf Life Saving clubhouse in Victoria was constructed from a packing crate. Now, nearly 60 years later, it has been transformed into a modern clubhouse. Situated right along the beach, this $9 million dream project required a full demolition and rebuild that has taken more than two years to complete. The new two-storey clubhouse now stands as a testament to the tireless community service of the Portsea Surf Livesaving Club community.
Built by Ireland Brown Constructions, the clubhouse sits in what is arguably one of the most unforgiving environments in Australia. As a result, a superior timber was required that could withstand salt, water and wind alike. Large commercial grade blackbutt timber, renowned for its durability and modern look, was ultimately chosen.
Timber is the real highlight of this building. blackbutt battens, hand cut from Boral blackbutt F27 timber (supplied by Bayswater Timber), wrap around the entire façade.
The Portsea Surf Lifesaving Club was determined to showcase quality Australian wood species. Boral worked closely with timber seller, Bowens, in providing all the timber decking and beams required for this mammoth project.
"It looks like the old bunkers that protected the coastlines in the past," says Bowens' Commercial Development Manager Danny Lamb. He managed the project and was on site weekly.
"When the public see this, they’ll be amazed at the textures and colours that natural timber brings to this project."
The pergola is also constructed from blackbutt battens and features enormous laminated blackbutt beams overhead. The beams are made from Class One durable timber that complies with the bushfire BAL- 29 requirement.
Portsea is one of the most affluent areas in the country, situated on the end of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. The clubhouse is uniquely located on cliff face of Mt Levy Beach, better known as Portsea Back Beach.
"The location is fantastic. It’s always good to come to a site meeting to see the tradies out on their surfboards before they go to work," says Lamb.
This distinctive location wasn’t without its challenges, as access to the cliff was limited and uneasy. There was only a single, extremely steep ramp leading to the site.
"Deliveries to site were tough," recalls Mike Bullows, site manager from Ireland Brown Constructions.
"We had very limited access down to the beach, so we had to coordinate different-sized trucks just to be able to fit down the road."
The new Portsea Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse has become a vital piece of community infrastructure and will allow members and the wider community to safely enjoy the Portsea Back Beach for generations to come.
Image: Portsea Surf Lifesaving clubhouse, courtesy of Boral.