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Good design shines in ‘changing’ environment

Good design shines in ‘changing’ environment


With summer in full swing, ADR thought it a worthy time to revisit one of our favourite seaside amenity developments: the public change facility at Freemantle’s Leighton Beach.

Built to replace an existing kiosk and change facility that no longer provided adequate service, the facility, which is positioned immediately behind the first dune formation, is designed to both protect and be protected by the formations while linking to public spaces and access ways. Particular attention to Universal Access is included to provide for frequent use by the Disabled Surfers Association of Western Australia.

The changing rooms at Freemantle’s Leighton Beach

Landscaping has reinstated the immediate dune structure while accommodating universal access and the broad reinstatement and augmentation of indigenous vegetation has provided a sustainable recreational environment.

The considered use of materials and muted colour palette means that while the structure sits quietly within the dune landscape, it is also robust in appearance, lending a sense of sanctuary to the building.

The public change facilities at Freemantle’s Leighton Beach

Timber, the prime building material has been adopted in response to the need for a maintainable while changeable technology.

Providing external showering and internal change, showering and toilets, the facility makes use of a linear design to enable connection in the landscape while facilitating separation of users through a single point of securable access.

Coat hooks and cubicles at Freemantle’s Leighton Beach changing rooms

Careful consideration of the building position, planning and formation has resulted in an architectural solution that sits in sympathy with the surrounding natural environment and uses features of the natural environment to enhance the architecture. Natural ventilation, light and shade have all been achieved in this intelligent architectural solution.


Effective planning and use of materials ensure ease of long-term maintenance, servicing and vandalism control.

A carefully considered and restrained palette of materials has ensured that the changeroom structure sits quietly within the dune landscape allowing the activity of user groups to add the dynamic quality while the vibrant orange of the kiosk acts as a marker allowing this to be referenced as a location and meeting point for the public.



Photography: Douglas Mark Black

Architecture: Bernard Seeber

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