The UTS Haberfield Rowing Club, situated on the edge of the shore at Iron Cove Bay, is the perfect manifestation of Sydney-siders’ love affair with the interaction between land and water.

Occupying the edge of the shore and projecting out over the bay, the building provides restaurant, bar and café facilities for the land-dwellers.

Australia’s best new rowing club facility also caters for the highly regarded rowers of the UTS Rowing Club, with facilities including boat and oar storage, amenities, pontoon, deck, coaches’ office and a gym.

According to HASSELL, the fact that the site bridges land and water brought both challenges and opportunities. The design uses the movement of air over water to provide a pleasant environment in the downstairs boat store, as well as the upstairs club via an innovative plenum.

The team also aimed to minimise the energy and plant required for mechanical ventilation, emphasising a sense of place and using the ambient air for temperature and movement. Extensive overhands protect louvred and stacking doors whilst providing ample natural light and connection to the harbour.

Key initiatives:

  • Passive/Low energy ventilation strategy – mixed mode ventilation utilising a plenum air delivery system to tempered air to level one Restaurant and Bar, supplemented by ceiling fans, motorised louvres and fully opening doors and windows to allow for natural ventilation and improve occupant thermal comfort whilst minimising the use of air conditioning
  • Shading devices and roof overhangs to ground and first floor glazing to minimise glare and solar gain
  • Rainwater harvesting tank for boat washing
  • Low use water fixtures to reduce the amount of potable water used on site
  • High efficiency lighting, and controls including an intelligent lighting control system, daylighting and occupancy sensors
  • Responsibly resourced materials including FSC certified timber
  • Internal finishes and products with low VOC and formaldehyde content
  • The use of harbour water for the fire hydrant system
  • Landscape – all plant species are low water use and local to the coastal region
  • Recycling – reuse of former boat shed timber structure as joinery and Dedication plinths
  • Carbon storage – majority of secondary structure is sustainably managed hardwood timber

Photography by Brett Boardman and Mike Chorley