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Man-made Melbourne surf park given green light

By Kim Megson    11 Apr 2016
The park will have a cafe, surf shop, surf academy and beach cabanas among other leisure and sports facilities / MJA Studios/Urbnsurf

Construction will begin in the next few months on Australia’s first man-made surf park after planning approval was granted for the Melbourne project.

Perth-based company Wave Park Group has partnered with architects MJA Studios – who recently unveiled their plan to transform an abandoned sports stadium into an enormous outdoor wave pool near Perth – for the facility, which will be called Urbnsurf.

“Surfing is a sport enjoyed by millions of Australians for its fun, health benefits and lifestyle,” said Wave Park Group in a statement. “Up until now, it has been held back by geographic limitations, only available at certain coastal locations, and by weather conditions, needing enough swell, the right wind, tide and daylight.

“Urbnsurf unlocks these limitations and allows surfers to enjoy their sport safely, more easily and more often.”

The company has declared its intention to open several surf parks across the country, and has partnered with Spanish wave generation specialists Wavegarden on all of its projects.

For Urbnsurf, which will open in late 2017, MJA have designed the lagoon-like park “in keeping with the local and Victorian coastal habitat that will integrate the built environment into the natural.” According to local reports, the facility, located near to Melbourne Airport, will feature a 3.9 hectare LED-lit body of water, with artificial waves ranging from 0.6 to 1.9 metres in height.

The park will also have a cafe, surf shop, surf academy and beach cabanas. Skate ramps, playgrounds, rock-climbing and mountain bike pump tracks will provide additional leisure opportunities.

The cost of the project has been reported as AU$18.5m (US$14m, €12.3m, £9.8m).

Wavegarden is best known for providing the wave generation technology for the Surf Snowdonia attraction in Wales. That park recently re-opened after a period of closure and a £1m (US$1.4m, €1.2m) investment in “significant modification” to the motors. Surf Snowdonia said it was happy with the technology, despite the “intermittent teething issues.”

Perth-based architects MJA Studio have created the design / MJA Studios/Urbnsurf
Spanish firm Wavegarden will provide the technology for Urbnsurf / MJA Studios/Urbnsurf
According to local reports, the facility near Melbourne Airport will feature a 3.9 hectare LED-lit body of water / MJA Studios/Urbnsurf
Man-made waves will provide different levels of challenge to surfers, with some reaching close to 2m in height / Urbnsurf
Man-made surf park  Melbourne  Urbnpark  Wave Park Group  MJA Studios  Australia  architecture  design  surfing  Wavegarden 
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