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Tawarri Reception Centre


City of Nedlands

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Esplanade Dalkeith

Location Details

Other Name(s)

The Dome

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1957 to 1965

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Apr 1999 Category B

Category B

Worthy of a high level of protection; to be retained and conserved; provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Nedlands Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. A more detailed Heritage Assessment/Impact Statement to be undertaken before approval given for any major redevelopment. Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 15 Apr 1999

Heritage Council

Statement of Significance

Tawarri Function Centre has aesthetic, historic, social and rarity cultural heritage value. It is significant for its
unique architecture and dominant position on the Swan River foreshore. For nearly four decades people have
attended the Centre for social occasions. Also, though no longer visible, the Hot Pool situated next to the
Dome was once an important aspect of social life in Nedlands. An historical aspect that increases the heritage
value of the Tawarri Function Centre's site.

Physical Description

This single storey structure is a simple concept of a reinforced concrete shell meeting the ground at three
points. The infilling glazing simply meets the profile of the shell. The design would have always benefited
from being set on a plinth of sorts, although the original concept is now lost in the unsympathetic additions all
around the building. The shell of the original concept nevertheless remains.

The building was an important visual element at the zone interface of the recreational reserve of the river
foreshore and the river itself. It is visible from a great distance and is an orientating ingredient in the
landscape. Yachtsmen have dubbed a nearby buoy 'Dome' for many years

The shell of the former Hot Pool on the site was allegedly removed by the Nedlands Council in the early
1990sto facilitate landscaping in the vicinity.


Tawarri Function Centre has had a dramatic past but is now settled as a unique feature of the river foreshore.
First built in 1957, the Dome was situated very close to the Hot Pool which was a concrete swimming pool fed
by an artesian hot spring. The architect for the Dome, as originally designed, was Mr Tony Brand, while he
was working as an architectural student in the firm Forbes and Fitzhardinge in the mid 1950s. A partner in the
firm, Mr W Barton, prepared the structural design, and the building was constructed by G K Watson. The
building was one of the first in Western Australia to use calcium silicate bricks although that portion of the
structure has since been demolished. At the time, the Hot Pool was filled in. Mr Brand confirms that hot
springs re-emerged some distance away after the line was filled in.

In the early 1960s (thought to be 1961) the Dome was severely damaged by fire. The arson attack cost
approximately £15,000-£20,000 and was reported to be not insured. At the time the Dome was run by Mr
Ernst van Reesma who subsequently went to South Australia. In 1964 it was rebuilt for a Mr and Mrs T C
Anderson, using the original shell. At this point a function centre was established under the name Tawarri.
This is an Aboriginal name for 'evening breeze'. Architects Forbes and Fitzhardinge were involved in the
project. At the same time kitchens and ablution blocks were built to improve facilities. Tawarri Function
Centre has had a number of lease holders including the Sheldons and the Emmott family. The Emmotts ran
the business from J 972173until 1997 when the lease passed to Kevin Higgins. The site of the function centre
is owned by the Crown (as 'A' class reserve) while the Centre itself is vested in the City of Nedlands. Today
(1998) visitors to the centre attend wedding receptions, conventions and Sunday buffets.


Severely compromised by additions




Name Type Year From Year To
Forbes & Fitzhardinge Architect - -

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
D34 LGA Place No

Other Keywords

Construction Date: Original 1957. Rebuilt after fire c1965

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Restaurant
Original Use COMMERCIAL Restaurant

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall CONCRETE Pre-cast concrete panel
Other GLASS Glass
Roof CONCRETE Pre-cast concrete panel

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Hospitality industry & tourism

Creation Date

09 Jun 1999

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.