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

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Strategic Improvements Project

...making better places to live step by step

Staff administration space a hub of activity

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This residential drug and alcohol recovery program was run out of an old building which comprised a maze of corridors and uninviting common rooms. The project aimed to open up corridors to create better vision around the buidling, clearer orientation and greater sense of connection between the different spaces. Residents would also gather near staff areas, but the interface between staff and residents was uncomfortable.

DESIGN IDEA: People like to see what is happening outside their room, ideally through some form of visual connection between bedrooms and the corridor. This can be supported by providing an area to sit directly outside a bedroom, such as a small alcove. Buildings also need to ensure good lines of sight between a bedroom door and the main common room of a cluster.

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PROJECT: The project involved the creation of a simpler corridor structure with good views from the main social spaces to the doorways to bedrooms. Lounge rooms were created as wider sections of the corridors and the area around the staff station provided space for people to sit. The counter itself was designed to give the staff some privacy, but also allow a ledge for people to comfortbaly lean against. Warm colours, timber and carpet were used to give life to what would otherwise be a very dull space.