Winners shape future aged care design

Architects and interior designers awarded prizes for ideas that implement the new principles and guidelines.

Connection to nature, community and the environment were popular themes among the winning entries of the government’s aged care design competition.

Launched in October last year, the Reimagining where we live competition invited architects and interior designers to come up with innovative ideas while applying the National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines.

Teams were invited to enter designs for two sites – one metropolitan and one regional. Competition entries were judged by a jury of individuals with diverse and extensive experience in architecture, design and aged care. Feedback on the shortlisted entries was provided by six advisers living with dementia.

The winning entry of the metro site was Scales of care by LM2A with Super Natural, a design that explored the relationship between care and the environment in which it takes place.

Of the winning metro entry, the jury said it was “an exceptional proposition successfully designed as a dynamic connection between the individual and the community to create a productive relationship … between the practice of care, and the environment in which it takes place … a positive feedback loop … fostered between the resident and the world around them.”

First prize in the regional category went to Manu Place by Monash Urban Lab with NMBW Architecture Studio, BoardGrove Architects, BLOXAS, and Glass Landscape Architects, which featured central cloistered courtyards between private living spaces that feature natural light, air, and greenery.

Winning entry – regional

The voting panel described the winning regional entry as “an outstanding proposition which critically addressed the principles and guidelines with a strong and appropriately scaled low-rise spatial program sensitively and intelligently embedded within the site context and neighbourhood.”

The winning entrants won $50,000.

Other notable entrants included:

Urban metro site

  • second prize – $20,000 – Connection, community and movement by Walter&Walter, which inverted the traditional inward-looking institutional model of care to an outward-focused community model
  • highly commended – Reflection Home by CultivAR + Wild Studio, which adopted the increasingly popular small household model
  • highly commended – Canopy by Jacqueline Bartholomeusz, David Sutherland, Lorraine Calder and Oculus, which clustered living spaces to create a neighbourhood model with ‘get together’ spaces
  • commended – An ordinary life by T&Z Architects + Aspect Studios, which explored the concept of aged care as a continuum that binds generations together.

Regional town site

  • second prize – $20,000 – All together now by Other Architects, Openwork, Andy Fergus and Alicia Pozniak, which created a miniature town with an intergenerational focus, featuring a community childcare cooperative
  • highly commended – The connected garden by Mark Boffa, Guruge Ruwani Dharmasiri, Pulasthi Wijekoon, Jana Osvald and Julie Ockerby, which recreated a classic Australian country town.
Anika Wells

“Through this design challenge, we’ve seen innovative ideas and accommodation solutions that will shape the future of aged care accommodation and support older people to live meaningful lives in safe, high-quality residential care when it is needed,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells.

“The design entries show what is possible when we think about aged care from a new perspective,” she added. “I encourage providers to engage with and adopt the National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines as recommended by the Aged Care Taskforce.”

The principles and guidelines were developed in response to recommendation 45 of the royal commission and will be introduced in July.

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Tags: Aged Care Design Principles and Guideline, anika wells, Reimagining where we live,

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