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

Opening a living room onto a garden

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This project involved a central garden that was a very signficiant part of the facility and a community room that was not strongly connected to the courtyard. Movement of staff and residents through the facility relied on pathways through the garden that gave life to the facility as a whole. One aim of the design work was to ensure that living spaces in the buildings faced onto the courtyard to encourage interaction and a sense of community

DESIGN IDEA: Ensure that there is some form of doorway, window bay or window seat creating strong links into garden areas. A window sill should be low (say 500mm above floor level) to allow a bedbound person or someone in a chair to see out. There might also be a shelf to hold some pot plants.

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PROJECT: .The image above shows a large sliding window that was added to an existing building. The full extent of the window can slide open to enhance the connection between the room and the yard. The sill was kept low to ensure that there was good vision out into the courtyard. It was also sheltered and made wide enough to allow able-bodied people to use it as a bench seat.