Waterfront Tavern

Overall winner of the 2022 Australian Timber Design Awards

Given its waterside position and direct openness to occasional extreme weather conditions it would have been understandable to approach this design with a material selection devoid of timbers. But such a move would also contradict the central premise of the Waterfront Tavern, which was based on the appeal of timber boat houses and their historic maritime construction.

Ultimately, there’s an immediate warmth such timber use brings, which was important given the Waterfront Tavern must also work as a community anchor to the newly formed residential development. Such warmth carries to the interior, where the design was predicated on the maximisation of views and a need to create a natural, albeit robust, design that is fit for purpose.

The form of the building consists of four pavilions of differing length, resulting in a building that partly cantilevers over the public boardwalk and water below. This led to a significant yet pragmatic use of timber throughout, with large, elevated sections of full length pine, with American white oak used at ground floor level and where patrons directly interact with the material.

From the material selection, architectural form, creative and operable features and fine crafstmanship this project is an exceptional celebration of what is possible with timber design. The project is sure to be cherished by its local community. As the winnner of the 2022 Timber Design Awards it will undoubtedly inspire others to push the creative design limits of designing buildings with timber.

Design: H & E Architects

Photography: Murray Fredericks