Sunreef Mooloolaba

retail dive store / workshop fit out

Principal Consultant


Interior Design

Metal Fabrication Detailing

Furniture / Fixtures / Equipment Selection

At the end of a lease term, the Sunreef team decided to relocate to the Mooloolaba Wharf to a bigger tenancy enabling the expansion of their retail space, and to afford easier access to their touring boats moored in the harbour.

After interviewing several Sunshine Coast designers, CAB ROTO was engaged by the client and quickly set about the design of the refocused retail space, the layout for technical services and equipment, bespoke joinery units and metal fabricated items for the service area.

Design Case Study - click to expand

By speaking with key personnel, CAB ROTO were able to deliver 'fit for purpose' design solutions to achieve a customised product suited to the different aspects of the business.

The original brief was revisited to work within a strict budget and designed to be suitable for manufacture and delivery in a very tight timeframe, aligning with the industry's quiet period.

CAB ROTO made detailed drawings and schedules and issued documentation to local shopfitters for tender, then met with top tendering contractors ensuring there were no omissions.

This process saw a variance of over 55% across submitted prices illustrating the importance of detailed working drawings which allow accurate quoting.

It became apparent, although intended to be an 'Owner Manage/Build', that the client needed some direction through the tender and construction process, which saw the designer on site at short notice when required to direct trades and sort out site issues that arose.

To keep fit out costs at a minimum, the client was looking for solutions to minimise the extent of onsite building works.

Due to renovations and small additions performed by previous tenants, the wall finishes of the existing site were a combination of plasterboard, blockwork, timber weatherboard and concrete. Instead of trying to mask the building's patchwork construction history, the overall aesthetic direction aimed to incorporate the non-uniform textures.

The client's vision was not of a shop in which product could simply be moved, but of a space were people could come to learn about the Sunreef dive experience and gather before and after dive trips.

The layout was designed around a large-scale model of the HMAS Brisbane (the main destination of Sunreef's excursions) with casual lounges and informal seating nestled comfortably among the product displays and points of sale.

Early in the project, the client requested that the fit out be designed so the shop could be relocated with minimal cost and effort. Most joinery units were completely assembled off site, and rolled into position on permanent heavy-duty castors, further adding to the industrial theme.

Joinery unit construction utilised LVL beams and galvanised steel grid mesh to provide additional product display and made the units appear lighter, although being quite large and housing a lot of stock.

Galvanised pipe fittings were used to make custom clothing racks and allowed the joinery to tie into the existing exposed pipework.

The diverse range of construction knowledge held by the CAB ROTO team enabled the design of custom made, gear specific, fabricated aluminium trolleys which enabled the loading and unloading of air tanks, wetsuits, mask and flippers safely and quickly by fewer staff, creating a more efficient operation.

This also afforded a flexible use space that houses gear overnight and creates a spacious workshop during the day.

We worked closely with the air compressor suppliers to create a functional, compact compressor room that allowed sufficient ventilation and access for servicing.


Photo Credit: Dane Falkstrom