Sun, Sand and Shelter

That most ingrained fixture of patrolled Australian beaches – the stalwart lifesaver’s tower – has been elevated into an architectural feature in its own right by MRTN Architects.

The Smiths Beach Surf Life Saving Tower is located on the exposed coastal park edge of Phillip Island, Victoria and its site and function made for a singular brief.

Part of the protected Phillip Island Nature Parks, this area is habitat for shearwater birds – so the prefabricated structure’s drum form with angled ironbark fins was designed to be minimally disruptive and potentially moveable. Facilitating lifesaving duties was also crucial; the tower accommodates up to five lifesavers when in use in summer, provides room for first aid services and equipment storage.

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