Panama Swimming Club

With xsite Architecture and Electrik Sheep for North Tyneside Council in Whitley Bay

In 2017, in collaboration with xsite Architecture and Electrik Sheep, we won a competition with North Tyneside Council to develop a range of artworks for the Whitley Bay Promenade.

The first element to be unveiled was the exterior wrap of the distinctive Panama Swimming Club.

The club has been running since the 1930s, and the clubhouse was looking somewhat ‘tired’, especially in contrast to the plans for the new surfacing and balustrade planned for the promenade.

For the interested, being in the group involves swimming in the freezing North Sea all year round!

The chosen design, developed in consultation with the Swimming Club committee, features the club’s members standing proud and in situ amongst the waves following one of their regular North Sea dips. The scale of the printed Dibond panels has a huge impact and is a true celebration of the club which benefits from members born in every decade since its inception, with the eldest given pride of place on the south-facing corner.

We developed a perforation system to maintain the function of the original shutters and created a much-improved steel door with laser-cut logo detail.

All furniture, framework, guttering and panelling were developed to suit and generally improve the performance of the existing building.

Photography by Jack Storey