Provider HQ becomes multistorey facility

Australian Unity has repurposed its former Melbourne head office into an integrated assisted living and aged care residence.

Australian Unity has repurposed its former Melbourne head office into an integrated assisted living and aged care residence.

Called The Alba –and designed by Fender Katsalidis – the recently opened 15-storey building contains 95 residential care suites and 60 assisted-living apartments. It also incorporates a lounge, café, cinema, wellness centre, rooftop restaurant, multi-faith space, and recreational spaces.

Ryan Banting

Ryan Banting – Australian Unity’s executive general manager, social infrastructure – said The Alba had been developed for older Australians who want to live in more suitable accommodation while still maintaining their autonomy. “The Alba caters for residents who want to downsize from the family home without compromising on quality or losing their independence.”

Acknowledging that older Australians expect choice and control as they age, Mr Banting said: “The Alba has been designed to support residents to age in place and remain in their community as their care needs evolve.”

The assisted living apartments will offer residents varying degrees of support – including domestic assistance, personal care and dining options.

“For people requiring higher levels of care, The Alba’s residential care suites provides accommodation and care that promotes dignity, independence and safety,” said Mr Banting.

Transforming a 1970s commercial building into a 21st-century residential home was not an easy endeavour, said Fender Katsalidis principal Jessica Lee. “We were conscious of instilling the vertical form with as much warmth and brightness as possible.”

Adding windows to the northern façade and introducing balconies on all four sides of the building were integral design initiatives to maximise light and ventilation, added Ms Lee. “The approach also created a subtle external building identity shift from a commercial use to a residential use.”

The Alba has been modelled on Australian Unity’s sister building The Grace – a 19-storey, 79-apartment village which opened in 2019 – said Ms Lee.

“We have translated the same DNA of The Grace into The Alba so that residents ageing in place with Australian Unity can feel comfortable and secure in the familiarity of their environment – one that instills an authentic sense of home.”

Main image: Australian Unity’s The Alba in Melbourne

Tags: Alba, australian unity, ryan banting,

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