Urbnsurf Precinct

Pattern Studio with MJA Architects

Utilising Spanish Wavegarden Cove technology and positioning itself as one of the world’s premier wave pools, Urbnsurf in Melbourne is the first of its kind in Australia – an exciting new addition to the international surfing scene. Housed in large hangers and stacked shipping containers, the interiors were designed to imbue this industrial, city-fringe setting with the soul and spirit of modern surfing, reiterating to park-goers that this precinct is something more than a typical recreation facility.

Reflecting surf culture’s raw, honest, and expressive spirit, the design utilises robust and tactile materiality, opting for simplicity and utility over adornment. The built elements are arranged along the pool’s shore, their interiors maximising views outward across the lagoon. Detailing mixes the robust and expressive with the minimal and concealed, blending low-fi and sci-fi aesthetics and ensuring the built elements are durable enough to withstand the high volumes of park visitors.

The design utilises inexpensive and readily available materials in response to the project’s modest budget. Engaged to design the park’s entry experience, retail, change room and amenities, surf rental and academy, Pattern Studio sought to develop a consistent material palette and design language across the various spaces. The design sought to bring a sense of warmth, accessibility, and tactile nature to the highly industrial building envelopes.

The project transformed the artificial landscape built with industrial hangars and shipping containers into human-friendly spaces. Despite a shoestring budget, the design has created for the Urbnsurf brand a unique design language and highly efficient and functional spatial programming. The project avoided surfing clichés and cultural appropriation (there is not a tiki-bar in sight) and instead opted to reference surf culture’s honest spirit and sense of creativity and authenticity.

Furniture: Custom (Pattern Studio). Lighting: Ambience Lighting. Finishes: Smartfoam. Fittings & Fixtures: Custom.

Photography: Traianos Pakioufakis