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Walmsley Retirement Community Aged Care Residence

Client Australian Unity
Status Completed 2023
Country Wurundjeri
Location Kilsyth, VIC
Dining setting for four with sheer white curtains alongside, staircase and piano beyond in large facility
Outdoor cafe style dining and barbecue under a pergola structure, cream brick building in background
Large cream and red brick building with gabled roof, landscaping with paved area and park bench and table seating, large gums
A new kitchen with grey pendant lights over an island bench, timber dining table in foreground
Large format white tiled bathroom with accessible shower and handrails, timber veneer drawers and linen basket
A residential aged care bed and seating nook in a comfortable looking new room with pendant and lamp lighting and timber furniture
An atrium with views outdoors and four comfortable looking yellow armchairs with green cushions and pot plants alongside
Timber staircase in atrium with grand piano in foreground and room beyond
Two armchairs alongside a timber wall panel joinery system opposite lifts. More chairs in sunlit atrium beyond
Raised outdoor patio with slatted timber shade cover throwing dappled shade on dining and lounge settings, large gum tree beyond
Status Completed 2023
Client Australian Unity
Country Wurundjeri
Location Kilsyth, VIC
Budget $ 24 million

We worked with Australian Unity to realise a homely lifestyle defined by inclusion and sociability for the new Residential Aged Care Residence at Walmsley Retirement Community in Kilsyth.

Carefully balancing budget and amenity, we catered for 120 new beds, while maintaining the intimacy and friendliness of smaller household clusters.

The new facility replaces an existing aged care residence on site, whose overall design was hampered by low ceilings and long corridors, where some residents felt isolated from common areas. Responding to Australian Unity’s Better Together approach, we designed clusters of no more than 13 rooms in each zone, in close proximity to smaller kitchen, dining, living and storage spaces. This greatly improves employees’ sightlines through to shorter corridor ends and ensures residents always feel safe and included in communal activities.

To break down the building’s mass, we designed a double H-shaped plan that would allow for the smaller, clustered zones and draw in natural light via deep courtyards on all axes. This maximised green views – one of the largest assets of this site, with its 12 hectares of existing gardens. Pitched roofs and brick facades also help to settle the building in amongst the brick independent living units (ILUs) across the village.

A sociable plan comprises an entry zone with café and landscaped outdoor plaza. Other amenities include a hair salon, gym, allied health consulting rooms and generous activities areas and multi-faith zones. Ample quiet nooks and shared living and dining areas offer relaxed opportunities to meet neighbours and take in courtyard views.

A dedicated memory support wing was designed to cater for dementia care and includes calming colours and limited patterns in furnishings. Here, the common areas emulate a train carriage, where flat-screen TVs can play rolling panoramas, and residents can share meals as if in an old train dining car.

Photography: Kit Haselden Photography