18 December 2020

Canberra Rowing Club dips oars with plans for new, bigger clubhouse

| Ian Bushnell
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Proposed Canberra Rowing Club

An artist’s impression of the proposed new Canberra Rowing Club. Images: TT Architecture.

Canberra Rowing Club wants to replace its ageing premises at Yarralumla Bay on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin with a new, two-storey building that will not only provide boat storage but club facilities for social activities and off-water training.

The club has submitted a Works Application to the National Capital Authority, the approval of which it says will open the way to Commonwealth and Territory Government grants and other sponsorship to pay for the project.

Established in 1964, the club has operated out of its current boatshed at Yarralumla Bay since 1972.

The club says that this one-storey brick building, expanded in 1986, provides only basic facilities and the washing, toilet and change areas are inadequate, particularly for women members and visitors.

It says the present facilities are limiting its ability to cater for its members and its performance as a competitive rowing club.

Another view of the design

Another view of the proposed design.

”The club’s plans for a replacement boathouse also align with the future vision for this area, which has already started to materialise with other development recently occurring in Yarralumla Bay,” the club says.

The proposal involves the demolition of the existing boatshed and its replacement with the two-storey facility, providing for storage for racing shells, safety boats and other equipment such as oars on the ground level, as well as two unisex toilets.

The proposed design provides for four main bay doors at the lakeside end of the building, allowing for easy pedestrian access, and a boat carriage, from the building to the lake. The club says the new shed won’t make any additional impact on the lake frontage.

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On the upper level, there will be club rooms with upgraded shower and toilet facilities, and meeting, social and off-water training spaces, including a small lounge and social area containing a deck and kitchenette on the lake side.

As is the present situation, the only pedestrian access proposed is directly from Alexandrina Drive, via new staircases, and a wheelchair accessible lift, located in the north-western corner of the site.

A footbridge link, further enabling wheelchair accessibility, will connect a common entrance to the public footpath on Alexandrina Drive.

Aerial view of the proposed development

The club is one of several on the lakeshore.

Given the boat storage requirements at the lower level, the building will be higher than a usual two-storey building but the application says it will be articulated to minimise impact.

The structure will be a mix of brick, concrete, and cladding with a Colorbond steel roof.

The 703 square metre site on the western edge of the Bay abuts the ANU Sailing Club to the south, the Lake Burley Griffin Sea Scouts facility to the north and Alexandrina Drive to the west.

The club says the Yarralumla Residents Association and the ANU have indicated that they have no objections to the proposal, nor do the Lake Burley Griffin Sea Scouts, as long as the final design, and any other supporting works, address any technical common boundary requirements.

The proposal also includes a possible driveway for the Sea Scouts.

Comment can be made on the proposal until COB Wednesday, 27 January 2021.

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