Celebrate a new era at the reimagined Bondi Pavilion

After a two-year restoration and refit, the Pav is back, and you’re invited to the party.

Like many things these past two years, Bondi Pavilion – or The Pav as it is known – has been thinking outside the box when it comes to programming. Thanks to an extensive $38 million restoration and conservation project, the community can now experience the reimagined 1920s building, fit for its next era.

An historic heritage building along the iconic Bondi Beach promenade, Waverley Council has worked with architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and head contractor Buildcorp to deliver a building where creativity, discovery and ideas come to life for a next generation. 

The Pav will throw open its doors on Wednesday, 21 September from 6pm with a community welcome and jam-packed evening of free live performance, music, dance, First Nations celebrations, film screenings and exhibitions in a glittering occasion for all.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said the Pavilion has been reimagined as a place of discovery and exploration with a curated line-up of thought-provoking community and cultural events.

This is our beloved Bondi Pavilion, but not as you remember it. Keeping true to its original architecture, the restoration has been designed and built to last for decades to come, and our cultural programming will inspire, uplift and entertain.

Paula Masselos, Mayor of Waverley

The Pav has also announced its Spring program, which includes the Waverley Art Prize exhibition (24 September – 15 October); The catholics (25 September); Bowie Wong’s Couture in Motion exhibition (30 September), Dharawal language workshops, architecture and local history tours (various dates); Locals back at the Pav (24 September – 9 October); Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award shortlist celebration (27 September); Behind the Curtain stagecraft and design (4-5 October); Urza and the Song in the Dark (7-8  October); The Legends of Surf ‘72 exhibition (from 8 October) and various school holiday events, just to name a few.

To see the full program, and to book tickets.

Reimagined Bondi Pavilion ready to welcome visitors. Supplied.

What’s new at the Pav

The $38 million restoration includes an updated art gallery; flexible cultural spaces, including the new Bondi Story Room interactive digital exhibition space; a welcome centre and box office, three dining venues (a restaurant and two cafés), larger Pottery Studio including a second kiln, a radio studio and a family- accessible bathroom and change space. 

These community and cultural spaces will be open and activated with an exciting program of activities for the launch.

And moving in and around the building will be easier as well. An improved entrance at the Gatehouse has created connections through the Pavilion from Campbell Parade to the beachfront, as well as additional east-west access.

Giving the Pav its destination, precinct feel, the outdoor areas have been landscaped, with swanky new internal courtyards graced by majestic palm trees – plus importantly, new terracotta roof tiles set in the original 1928 cordova pattern. 

Taking advantage of its location, 220 solar panels are a star feature of the refurbishment and will provide70% of the building’s energy needs.

Lead architect, Peter Tonkin of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, said ‘The Bondi Pavilion is a fine example of how an old building located in a hostile coastal environment can be reimagined through ingenuity and innovation in design,’ adding that it was ‘among the most inspiring projects of his career.’

Reason to party? Indeed!

Don’t miss the welcoming celebration

The community welcome celebration is on Wednesday, 21 September, starting at 6pm, and includes: 

  • Move to the beat with more than 20 local musicians performing at the Pav. The courtyard stage comes alive with the bold, brassy riffs and driving percussion of 14-piece Latin Big Band Mucho Mambo followed by local rising star Krystal Rivvers
  • Bondi WAVE Alumni bands Lili Alaska featuring Lindy Morrison and Mess will jam in the Music Studios, whilst the Bondi Glee Club will have you singing along to their favourite pop songs.
  • A preview of the Waverley Art Prize finalists in the Bondi Pavilion Gallery 
  • Local culture and stories to explore in the Bondi Story Room 
  • Live storytelling featuring Bondi Story Room identities in the Yalagang Room 
  • Get creative with an Indigenous shelling workshop in the High Tide Room, led by Aunty Lola and the Gujaga Foundation.
  • Screenings of historical reels of footage of Bondi from the National Film and Sound Archive 
  • A pop-up exhibition featuring the journey of Bondi Pavilion’s transformation in the Ocean Room 
  • Food and drinks in the upstairs bar, courtyard and beach-side 
  • Kid’s entertainment including games and gelato 
  • Eastside Radio broadcast

The Bondi Pavilion community welcome celebration is free to attend, though registration is essential.  

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina