Balmoral Bathers Pavilion

Balmoral Bather’s Pavilion

Balmoral bather’s Pavilion is located in the picturesque suburb of Balmoral and fronts onto the harbour beach. There is a harbour pool close by and it is a spot favoured by locals for picnics and houses some of Sydney’s most prestigious restaurants.The pavilion is of significance to Mosman, Sydney and NSW for its association with the development of the Mosman Municipality and in particular, the ensemble of buildings, structures and landscape which together comprise the Balmoral Beach reserve. The reserve is an important example of the community acquisition and development of beachfront lands for public recreation and amenity purposes which took place during the 1920s and 30s, sometimes as unemployment relief schemes. In its design and construction, the building is an important representative of its type, reflecting the architectural taste, construction economies and social mores of its day. The pavilion is a two storey, rendered brick construction of classic Mediterranean influence employing elements and finishes common to the ‘Spanish Mission’ style. It is a broad, shallow U-shape – effectively an indented rectangle – opening onto the Esplanade on what is now perceived to be its rear western elevation, with its base, the eastern ‘front’ elevation towards the Promenade. Central doorways in these major facades effectively divide the building into two halves.

The building appears as a massive white pavilion surrounded by trees of the reserve which tend to screen the building from the Esplanade.. The cornice line of the walls is straight except for the curved parapets which denote each corner. A low central tower roofed with orange terracotta Marseilles tiles and notable for its leaning central flagpole, is set back to the western side where it surmounts the original central entry door.

The building’s elevations are divided into bays by plain attached pilasters. The longer elevations, divided by the central doorways, are arrayed as two ranges of four bays each. The shorter north and south elevations are respectively four and three bays each. At the north-east corner of the building the range of east facing bays north of the central passage are set lower than the remainder of the building, where the structure is set down to a single storey over a narrower bay of the northern elevations.