We are delighted to announce that the heritage restoration works on the Dawn Fraser Baths in Balmain have been completed. ACOR provided Structural, Fire and Hydraulic work over the four-year project, repairing the site for the community to enjoy for many years to come.

Known locally as Dawny’s, the Baths feature a tidal saltwater pool with its own sandy beach at low tide. Opening in the early 1880s, Dawny’s is home to Australia’s first swimming club and claims the title of the oldest remaining harbour pool in the southern hemisphere.

before and after images of the dawn fraser baths project


Our Role: In 2017, ACOR was engaged by Innerwest Council to conduct a structural condition assessment of the Southern Pavilion in Dawn Fraser Baths at Balmain.

Our assessment revealed numerous major deficiencies and safety issues in the structure (foundation subsidence, instability in framing, etc.), enforcing a temporary closure to the facility.

Since then, ACOR’s Structural and Hydraulic teams have been working closely with TKD Architects, Innerwest Council and Belmadar (main contractor) on reconstruction of the entire building.

Our strategy was to provide the most effective solutions for the project to maintain its heritage significance, while minimising the environmental impact of the reconstruction works. The facility is of historical importance as a landmark and in the community, and reconstruction proposal initially imposed several challenges from the cost, efficiency, climate change and environmental effects.

The Southern Pavilion was redesigned to latest standards and reconstructed, identical to the original heritage building, 1.25m higher than the original level to provide safe freeboard for potential sea level rise projected for 2100!

Approximately 40% of the original timber elements were salvaged, re-rated and reused in the new building, to retain its heritage significance. The original building did not have an integrated footing, was suffering from seasonal movements and subsidence.

The new building is now constructed on piled footing systems anchored into rock and supporting structure at a higher level.  The facility is now officially complete and open to public again. ACOR is proud to have had the opportunity to work on this landmark project”

Title: Dawn Fraser Baths - Restoration Complete
Date: November 4, 2021