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MJA Studio and Wave Park Group reunite to 'bring the beach to the backyards' of Perth's surfers

By Kim Megson    01 Sep 2016
Wave Park Group wants to redevelop a bowls club in the 22 hectare Tompkins Sports Park into a world-class destination / Wave Park Group
With surfing now confirmed as an Olympic medal sport for the 2020 Tokyo Games, we think this facility will play an important part in the future of the sport of surfing in Western Australia
– Andrew Ross, Wave Park Group

Australia’s Wave Park Group has proposed bringing one of its URBNSURF parks to Perth as a 4.5 hectare centrepiece for the city’s sports and recreation precinct.

The surf park company wants to redevelop a bowls club in the 22 hectare Tompkins Park into a world-class destination that attracts surfers disappointed by the surfing opportunities along the coastline.

“Perth is blessed with a number of idyllic beaches, but the surf quality at those beaches is often poor, with overcrowding also becoming an increasing issue,” said Wave Park Group executive chair Andrew Ross. “Also, with a busy job and as a father of young kids, I can’t always get to the beach at the right time to catch decent waves, and when the swell is up, the breaks are full with others trying to do the same thing.

“URBNSURF Perth will bring the beach to our backyards, by unlocking the geographic limitations of ocean based surfing.”

The proposed park for Perth would be able to hold around 84 users per hour, with 36 intermediate or advanced level surfers in the park’s Peak Zone and 48 beginners in the calmer Bays Zone.

Body boards, shortboards, mals, surf skis, surf kayaks and stand-up paddleboards could all be used. The waves, powered by Wavegarden technology, would range from up to 1.7m high – designed for the highest levels of performance surfing – to 0.6m high for beginners. LED lagoon lighting systems would illuminate the waves from underwater, making night surfing available.

The proposed facility also includes a climbing wall, parkour trail and skate course. For visitors wanting to relax, there would be a café, rooftop bar, river-facing beach club, multipurpose space for music and film festivals and a children's playground.

The park’s design – which aims to be as sustainable as possible through the use of solar power and water-saving systems – has been created by MJA Studio, who have collaborated with Wave Park Group on a similar, green-lit scheme in Melbourne, as well as proposing a surf park to be built in Perth’s disused Oval sports stadium.

According to Ross, the development of URBNSURF Perth would generate over 300 jobs during the construction phase and another 45 full time positions after opening, as well as injecting more than AUS$250m (US$188.3m, €169m, £142m) in gross economic contribution to the region. He forecasts the facility to attract approximately 300,000 guests every year.

“Surfing is enjoyed by millions of Australians for its excitement, lifestyle and recognised health benefits, and is second only to Australian football in terms of national sports participation,” he said. “URBNSURF Perth will provide greater opportunities for those that love surfing to engage with their sport, and for non-surfers to learn how to surf safely and conveniently.

“With surfing now confirmed as an Olympic medal sport for the 2020 Tokyo Games, we think this facility will play an important part in the future of the sport of surfing in Western Australia.”

Preliminary technical, environmental and commercial feasibility studies for the proposed development have been completed, and a detailed business case will soon be delivered to the local government for consideration.

If a lease for the site is awarded, it is anticipated that a development application would be lodged in Q1 2017, and that construction could begin later that year. In that scenario, the first riders would take to the waves in late 2018.

Body boards, shortboards, mals, surf skis, surf kayaks and stand-up paddleboards could all be used in the park / Wave Park Group
The proposed park would be able to hold around 84 users per hour / Wave Park Group
Perth  Wave Park Group  surf park  MJA Studio  Wavegarden  Western Australia  architecture  design Tompkins Park 
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