Bondi Pavilion Upgrade and Conservation Project

As part of the Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion Plan of Management (Bondi POM), which was adopted in 2014, Council is working 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.

Following an extensive community consultation, where the community were invited to have their say on an amended concept design, Council voted to proceed with a phased approach for the upgrade and conservation of the Bondi Pavilion. Phase 1 will focus on the critical needs of the building being the building of new and larger toilets, improved waste facilities around the northern courtyard and most importantly, the restoration of the facade and roof of the whole building.

Council will defer any decision on the use of the upper level, the building of a replacement theatre and the changes to community spaces to the new Council that will be elected at the next local government election. Those decisions will be informed by the community consultation reports that have already been produced and new reports that will include a Business Case, Fair Use Policy, Theatre Programming and Management and Cultural and Community impact assessments.

Next steps 

It is expected that a Development Application for Phase 1 works will be submitted in February 2017. Plans will then be subject to a statutory exhibition process where members of the public will have a further opportunity to provide comment.
Construction of Phase 1 is expected to take approximately 12 months, commencing in late 2017 or the early months of 2018.
Decisions on the first floor and other parts of the project will take place after the next Council elections.

To find out more about the findings of this consultation and how it has amended the design, visit Have Your Say Waverley by clicking here

Update 18 November 2016

On Tuesday 15 November. Council voted to proceed with Phase 1 of the renovations of the iconic Bondi Pavilion. 

Phase 1 will focus on some critical needs of the building and adjacent works.This includes:  

  • Building new and larger toilet facilities
  • Environmentally sustainable design measures including improved waste facilities
  • A new gallery/ exhibition/ museum space
  • Pottery, kiln and music studio facilities 
  • Landscaped courtyards and outdoor seating with space for the community to relax. 
Phase 1 will also include roof replacement and external facade works for the whole building. 

Council has agreed to defer any decision on the rest of the project until the next Council is elected, expected to be September 2017. This includes decisions about use of the upper level, the proposed new theatre and changes to exisiting music studios and the High Tide Room. Those future decisions will be informed by the community consultation reports that have already beeb produced and new reports that will include a Business Case, Fair Use Policy, Theatre Programming and Management and Cultural and Community impact assessment.  

The KJA report on the recent Futher Consultation and Engagement Period has informed and will continue to inform decisions on Bondi Pavilion. We have taken on board the views expressed by community memmbers by making changes to the previous plan and ensuring Phase 1 addresses key community concerns by:

  • Building a new pottery studio with kiln
  • Retaining the existing theatre
  • Retaining the music studios
  • Retaining all the current community rooms and community facilities in the building, and adding new community space
  • Building an exhibiton space or museum celebrating Bondi's history. 

What happens next?

It is expected that a Development Application for Phase 1 works will be submitted in February 2017. Plans will then be subject to a statutory exhibition process and members of the public will have further opportunity to provide comment. Construction of Phase 1 would be expected to take about 12 months, commencing late 2017 or the early months of 2018.  

Update 11 November 2016

The further consultation and engagement period for the Bondi Pavilion Upgrade and Conservation Project concluded on 23 September 2016. KJA Consultations, who coordinated the consultation, have now completed their report. The report consists of multiple parts and can be viewed in the document library here

The consultation report will be considered at the Council meeting on 15 November 2016.  

At that meeting, there will also be a report considered in relation to an investigation on staging the Bondi Pavilion project. This option, if adopted, would see Council prioritising the construction of the new toilet and public amenities in the north eastern courtyard, along with a new pottery studio and space allocated for a future music studio, and an additional new community space. Courtyard landscaping and heritage works in and around the north eastern courtyard would also take place.

This staging option would see decisions on other proposed works (including the first floor, the theatre and the existing music studios) deferred for future consideration after the next Council elections.

 In early 2017, Council also expects to receive further technical reports that will assist its decision making on the project, including a cultural and community impact assessment, a business case modelling a number of different scenarios for the first floor, and the proposed Fair Use Policy to ensure fair and equitable community access. 

Update 3 November 2016

The report on the recent consultation is being finalised and is expected to be available from late November 2016. 

In early 2017, Council will also receive further technical reports including a cultural and community impact assessment. All of these reports will assist Council in deciding on the next steps for the project. It is expected that Council will consider further changes to the concept design in response to community feedback.

Council recently requested an investigation of staging the project in two phases, and prioritising the construction of new toilet and amenity facilities on the eastern side of the building. This option could include landscaping of the eastern courtyard, space for a pottery studio and for a duture music studio, environmental measures and heritage repair works. If this staging proposal was adopted, decisions regarding the second phase of the project could potentially be put on hold until after September 2017 (following the next Council election).  


Update 19 September 2016

Over the past three months, Council has held several workshops, stakeholder meetings and a public walkshop at the pavilion. 

Residents have also been able to submit surveys online, or via paper, as well as provide feedback and obtain information via a specifically created webpage.

Whether the topic be the music, gallery, theatre of fair use, interested community members have been able to discuss the project and express their views on this important community and cultural facility.

Staff have also been at information booths at locations including Westfield, Eastgate, Bondi Beach, Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach Market Stall and Bondi Junction Mall. 

The community has until September 23 to engage in council's further round of consultation.  

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. Following feedback from the community, an amended concept design was released in July 2016. You can view the revised concept design here



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

Concept floor plans

Revised Concept floor plans

Fact sheets

Artist impressions

Media release

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; and
  • 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); and
  • 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; and
  • improving the connectivity and permeability of the building, opening up view lines where possible through the building.

More information

For more information about the project, please email