All buildings have a story to tell: the story of the lives of the people that have interacted with them and the story of their place. Archisoul Architects was entrusted with reimagining and restoring two unassuming timber-clad cottages in Manly that occupy a unique place in the area’s history and in the story of Australia’s beach culture.

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Sly brothers, a couple of local fishermen, built the pair of semi-detached cottages, which sit close to Manly beach. From the rear of these houses they would take their boat to the nearby beaches and patrol the waters, in what some historians see as the establishment of surf lifesaving in Australia. With a story such as this that goes to the heart of Australian beach culture, there is little wonder these two humble cottages were deemed to be of high heritage value.

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