Bondi Pavilion Upgrade and Conservation Project

As part of the next stage of implementation of the Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion Plan of Management (Bondi POM), which was adopted in 2014, Council is starting work on a project to conserve the iconic Bondi Pavilion─a much loved landmark and heritage building providing a vibrant mix of cultural, community and commercial uses at Bondi Beach.

In June 2016, Council committed to a further community consultation and engagement period. This has now begun and will run until 23 September 2016. Please click here to have your say on the future of Bondi Pavilion. 

For information on this project to date, please see below: 

Update 25 July 2016: The Bondi Pavilion Commercial Review

The Bondi Beach, Park and Pavilion Plan of Management 2012–2024 includes an action to commission a study to investigate opportunities to increase income generated at Bondi Pavilion, in order to fund a better maintained building, facilities and services. The study was commissioned in 2014, and Urbis, a company with an extensive background in local government, facility and retail feasibility studies was appointed as the successful consultants.

This study, the Bondi Pavilion Commercial Review, was presented to Council in February 2015 under confidential seal as it included information about current and potential future leases which was considered to be commercially sensitive.

It looked at the current Bondi Pavilion layout, examined other similar heritage buildings with commercial components, interviewed local community and tenant stakeholders, and interviewed stakeholders in the retail, hospitality and other industries. 

It identified a number of revenue generating opportunities including the removal of Council offices to an offsite location, relocation of community spaces, an increase in the number of tenancies for lease and exploration of opportunities for functions, events and dining on the upper level. 

At this February 2015 meeting, Council decided not to adopt either of these options as a whole. The layout diagrams in the Urbis study were considered to be useful to explore possibilities, but were not endorsed by Council. Council also did not endorse the Urbis recommendations as a whole. 

Instead, it was decided the most suitable ideas and initiatives would be used to inform discussions with the appointed architect without being constrained by the Urbis study or the Urbis layout diagrams.

Please click here to read the report. This document has been redacted to remove confidential information relating to current and future leases and potential costings relating to the two options outlined in the study. 

Update 3 June 2016: A renewed focus on consultation

The strength of community feeling about this project demonstrates how Bondi Pavilion expresses who we are as a community and is a vital part of our history. Heritage and culture is at the heart of this project and we recognise the need for us to do more to bring the community along with us, and work together to achieve a good outcome.

We are committed to a renewed focus on community and stakeholder engagement and enabling a more active dialogue with our community.

As such, an in-depth consultation plan is being developed. This plan will be presented to the next Council meeting, and will then be implemented.

The development application for the project will not be finalised and submitted until after this new period of consultation.

Many aspects of the project have still not been decided. Community views are critical in deciding aspects of the project such as a Fair Use Access Policy for the building, theatre programming, and future uses for the first floor.

Later in the year, the project will be subject to rigorous independent planning and heritage assessment processes. These processes will also involve additional periods for the community to make submissions.

The project designs cannot be finalised and construction cannot proceed until all necessary statutory approvals have been gained. It is expected that these processes could take a further 12 months.
Council is committed to delivering a Bondi Pavilion that Council and the community are proud of, one that serves the needs of all users both now and for future generations.

Update 11 May 2016

Council’s decision to progress the Bondi Pavilion Upgrade and Conservation Project to the next stage will see a range of additional reports brought to Council for decision over the next year. This includes a 'Fair Use' policy for Bondi Pavilion.

The aim of the Fair Use policy will be to ensure fair and equitable access to Bondi Pavilion, and to provide reassurance and transparency to the community. It will address issues such as how Council will continue to encourage and support community activities and classes in the Pavilion, the principles and process for setting venue hire fees, and the processes for how venue bookings are managed.

The Fair Use policy will need to align with the Bondi Pavilion Theatre Programming policy, which is also being developed. A key purpose of the theatre programming policy will be to ensure that a great range of performances and arts and culture programs are active in the theatre and in the Pavilion, through appropriate programming and venue hire processes, and other Council support including marketing. We will be engaging with a range of industry experts and members of the local cultural community to develop this policy.

There will also be opportunity for community consultation as part of the development of the Fair Use policy.

As previously advised, a Council report will come to a future Council meeting which sets out options for use for the first floor of Bondi Pavilion. This report will not come to Council until the Fair Use policy has been developed.

Update 21 April 2016

The Bondi Pavilion Upgrade and Conservation Project report was considered at a Council meeting last Tuesday 19 April. This report is available to download at

A number of changes were made to the project in response to community feedback. With those changes, Councillors voted 7─5 in favour of taking the project to the next stage. These changes include:

  • Ensuring music makers continue to have a home at Bondi Pavilion, with special acoustic treatment to one or more of the community rooms to support and encourage rehearsals and music groups 
  • For the new theatre, ensure the dressing room, green room and toilets are easily accessible. There will also be a bar facility and box office for the theatre
  • Allocate the northern gallery/community/exhibition space as mostly for activities, recreation, children’s classes, and community meetings. It will have a sprung floor, so it can be used for dance classes
  • Amend the landscaping of the internal courtyards so it can have temporary seating and screen within the courtyard for outdoor cinema. There will also be two other natural amphitheatres for festivals and community events, adjoining the Pavilion. 

Recent analysis shows that most music studio bookings can be accommodated in the proposed new layout of the Pavilion including the Seniors’ Choir and other music rehearsals. In a sample busy week, 100% of other bookings could be easily accommodated in the new layout including dance classes, martial arts, yoga, meditation, kids classes, kids parties and community group meetings. 

The new theatre will be designed for drama, music, film and other performances. It will include a range of high quality new technical equipment, including fly bars or mesh grid system for lighting and rigging, motorised lighting trusses, functional bio box and extensive AV patching, drop down screen and high quality film projection and sound, and a sprung floor. 

Other benefits of the project include brand new toilets (and more of them), more lockers, a new visitor information centre, and sheltered courtyard gardens.

There are a number of issues that Council will make decisions on later in 2016/2017: 

  • A policy of programming and hire of the new theatre, to ensure a great program of performances - theatre, music, film and other cultural activities
  • The location for a new Waverley music studio recording facility
  • The new location of the Council pottery programs (already, constructive discussions have been occurring with Waverley Woollahra Art School who have a pottery studio and two kilns)
  • A decision on what happens to the first floor space – whether and how much space is allocated for commercial tenancies. Council will also need to decide on the strict public tender process for any commercial tenancies in the Pavilion.
  • Arrangements for footpath dining and shade in the Bondi Pavilion forecourt.

Updated business modelling will also take place and Council will consider an updated business case later in 2016. The project cannot proceed to construction stage unless all funds are secured for the project. 

Next Steps

In line with Council’s decision, adjustments will be made to the design. A development application (including heritage application) will then be submitted in the next 1-2 months. The DA assessment process will involve further formal opportunity for community submissions. 

The development application will be assessed by an independent body (the Joint Regional Planning Panel). The NSW Heritage Council will also carry out a strict assessment as part of this process. We expect the assessment of the development application (including heritage application) to take many months, perhaps 10 or 11 months. 

During this time, Council is also conducting constructive meetings and conversations with relevant groups, including current hirers and tenants of the Pavilion, community groups and government bodies, to ensure they can contribute as this project progresses. We are very grateful for the feedback that has been provided.

We will also continue to send regular emails and keep you in the loop throughout the project. Please email if you would like to be added to the Bondi POM database.

Update 18 March 2016

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Bondi Pavilion Upgrade and Conservation Project. We very much appreciate you taking the time to send us your comments and concerns. Over the next few days, we will be acknowledging individual submissions via email to confirm we have received them. We are still collating the final report, but preliminary figures indicate over 650 submissions received. All feedback received will be included in a report which will be presented to Council in April 2016.

Update 10 March 2016

We have released a new fact sheet, outlining key points on this project. Please click here to view. (Note: square meterage for the proposed spaces are currently being adjusted as per the changes to the concept design following the 21 April Council meeting)

Update 19 February 2016

Update 19 February 2016: At 16 February Council meeting, Councillors resolved to extend the consultation deadline to Sunday 13 March 2016. In order to assist the consultation process, Council will release the square metre break down of all space - this will be released presently. Please click here to read the mayoral minute in full.

Concept design

In June 2015, Council awarded tender to renowned architects, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer to develop a design concept to revitalise Bondi Pavilion as a place for visitors and community members to enjoy, connect and relax.



Having trouble playing the video? Please click here to watch. 

Concept floor plans

Fact sheets

Artist impressions

Media release

Next steps

On Tuesday 15 December 2015, Council released the concept design for community consultation. Please follow the link to have your say on the concept design. Community submissions are welcome until Sunday 13 March 2016, when the consultation period closes.

Bondi Pavilion

About the project

The Bondi Pavilion is a beautiful heritage building, much loved by the Waverley community. Over the next ten years, Council has set aside A$14 million in the long term financial plan to refurbish the Bondi Pavilion. Throughout all the rounds of community consultation on the Bondi PoM, there was one common theme: although the Pavilion is much loved, it needs to be more carefully looked after.

Council resolved at its meeting in February 2015 to approve the preparation of a detailed consultant brief to prepare concept designs and detailed design documentation which:

  • meets the purpose and directions set out in the Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion Plan of Management 2014–2024
  • addresses the Conservation Management Plan currently in preparation
  • reinforces Bondi Pavilion's status as a landmark building, contributing to the unique heritage of Bondi
  • ensures Bondi Pavilion, as the centre of community life, has a vibrant mix of cultural, community and commercial uses
  • provides a grand entrance from the street to Bondi Beach.

Key project goals

  • Reinforce Bondi Pavilion's status as a landmark building and contribute to the unique heritage of Bondi through:
  • investigation of opportunities for celebrating and interpreting the heritage of Bondi Pavilion and Bondi Beach eg. through exhibitions
  • conservation of heritage significant fabric and character, including investigating the restoration of the Pavilion’s beach frontage symmetry
  • inclusion of environmentally sustainable design features to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease mains water demand, maximise the proportion of waste recycled and improve waste management facilities.
  • Ensuring Bondi Pavilion, as a centre of community life, has a vibrant mix of cultural, community and commercial uses through:
  • transforming the internal courtyards, including investigating opportunities for an all weather events space (preferably with retractable or removable roof/shade covering) and a native garden and/or interactive art installation, and investigating the restoration of the rear full length covered verandah in the northern courtyard
  • inclusion of an art gallery, exhibition space or other cultural attractor/s on the ground floor
  • potential increase in arts and community space on the ground floor, including the potential conversion of one or both music studios to flexible rehearsal, performance and community use
  • improved theatre and back-of-house theatre facilities, with a minimum seating capacity of 110 persons
  • inclusion of a staffed tourism information point
  • increasing the number of toilets available, with public access to ground floor toilets preferably from the sides of the Pavilion
  • increased number of commercial tenancies eg. through relocation and/or reduction in size of staff offices
  • increased commercial usage in appropriate places, with the increased commercial revenue to fund appropriate maintenance, upkeep and activities within the Pavilion
  • investigating creative and innovative approaches to improving views from the first floor where possible (subject to heritage approvals)
  • improved meeting room and conference facilities, supported by a kitchen and bar.
  • Providing a grand entrance from the street to Bondi Beach through:
  • restoring the entrance facing Campbell Parade as a pedestrian throughway, with enhanced view lines and connection through the building
  • improving the connectivity and permeability of the building, opening up view lines where possible through the building.

Music programs

Music rehearsal and performance facilities will be well catered for in the new Pavilion, particularly utilising the two smaller community rooms, the Theatre Foyer Room, and the Theatre. Other rooms may work for these purposes too. Music programs such as Seniors Choir, Seniors Concerts, Carols by the Sea and Bondi Wave and Primary School Rock Stars are expected to continue at Bondi Pavilion.

The project plans include facilities for music and music programs, but does not currently include single purpose dedicated music studios. Some recording could take place but it would not have full technical facilities. Council could decide to amend the plans to include a purpose built recording studio in the plans for Bondi Pavilion. Alternatively Council could choose to build an up to date recording studio elsewhere in Waverley where parking, access and storage would be less problematic. 

More information

For more information about the project, please email