The Process

Many of the 185,000 Australians in residential aged care live in poor conditions. A substantial body of research has established the design requirements to best support people with dementia, sensory impairment and other personal constraints common to aged care residents. Yet, few facilities effectively support the basic needs, of residents let alone the more sophisticated social programs offered by innovative providers. The Strategic Improvements Project provides a four step building renovation program. It ensure that even small amounts of funding can be directed to incrementally upgrade existing facilities, thereby improving the lives of residents.   READ MORE

Constructive Dialogue Architects

Constructive Dialogue is an architecture firm focused on supporting aged care and other social programs with architectural, strategic planning and project management services.  READ MORE

Past Projects
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Strategic Improvements Project

...making better places to live step by step

Sheltered, defined yards

This project involved work on an institutional building with a single large dining room/activity space with bedrooms stacked along corridors through the rest of the building. The aim was to create a separate area for day programs (that would also be open to visitors) and clusters of bedrooms, each with their own dedicated living/dining space. There was also a sense in which the gardens seemed disconnected from one another.

DESIGN IDEA: Treat corridors as streets with varying widths that can accommodate both organised activities and smaller socialising in pockets of space. Support activities in corridors by opening some areas onto outdoor space, having paths lead to external areas and providing a range of places to sit that break down a journey. Paths should be visible from key staff points and each sitting place should have some form of view of a common room or other main area to provide orientation.


PROJECT: The space shown above was the courtyard outside the day program area. The courtyard space was expanded, shade was added and the planting aroudn the edge was used to create a defined space. The ramp shown led around the building to allow the pathway to link a series of other courtayards and garden spaces. The plan below shows the a proposed additional living space that was located as the focus of a cluster of bedrooms and designed to create another contained yard.