Coastal Australian Vibes

Refurbished by Sydney-based Alexander &CO., the Burleigh Pavilion is a casual culinary venue with unobstructed ocean views and beach-chic decor


Alexander &CO. believes in the spirit of place, and this is clearly reflected in the firm’s latest project. Located on one of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines, in Burleigh Heads — a suburb of Gold Coast — the Burleigh Pavilion occupies the upper floor and rooftop area of an iconic 80-year-old concrete structure. The historic site was once a meeting area for indigenous Australians, with fresh water and oyster catchments. It also hosted a holiday campsite and skating rink before becoming the Jack Evans Swimming Pool in 1953. The pavilion was built on the site in 1987, and was the subject of the studio’s recent work. 

‘We conceived it as a quintessential coastal beach structure possessing a narrative that slips between Miami Vice and Gold Coast shack: faded pastels, corbeled blockwork and exposed structures,’ says founder & principal Jeremy Bull. ‘The building envelope gently reveals itself from behind a fenestrated entry elevation under a great concrete canopy. Two palm trees and extruded metal letters announce its presence. You see a hint of its retro DNA in circular breeze blocks, while tropical gardens flank the entry doors.’

While the lower floor — whose facade was architecturally retouched — continues to be home to restaurant Rick Shores, Alexander &CO. worked on the upper level, which now comprises three food and beverage venues. These venues — the Tropic restaurant, the Pavilion restaurant and its beach bar — feature aesthetics that are a nod to the coastal pavilion structures from the past. 

The central open kitchen with two pizza ovens and a fire pit anchors the space and invites guests to discover the three areas that radiate from it, offering sweeping ocean views. Adorned with a rattan ceiling and paved flooring, the restaurant is decorated with mint-green chairs, terrazzo tables and plants, accentuating the fresh ambience. The colour scheme continues throughout the beach bar, where pink and pistachio tables combine with timber benches. From beneath white umbrellas, the bar opens up to a beautiful panorama. 

‘The Burleigh Pavilion is a coastal story: robust, sun drenched and faded, and filled with greenery and human energy,’ says Bull. ‘It’s the next genesis in the story of Burleigh Heads; still a meeting place with oysters and ample fresh water.’

Text / Karine Monié
Images / Anson Smart
Styling / Claire Delmar