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

A sheltered place to sit at the entry

The entry to this facility was a thoroughfare. Although the facility is located in the centre of a suburb, the entry did not provide comfortable places to sit and watch streetlife or wait for a friend. The carpark at the front of this residential aged care facility created a barrier to the road and interactions with passersby. The aim of this project was to create an entry courtyard that would support residents sitting who wanted to sit at the front of the facility and take part in that life.

DESIGN IDEA: Provide windows, terraces and verandahs off common rooms that have good vision down onto the street (or other areas of activity) and are close enough for a resident to be able to chat to someone passing by. These spaces should be shaded and a minimum of 2.5 metres deep to allow someone to sit at a table or be wheeled out in a bed. A balustrade and planting should allow vision of the street and provide a buffer to limit people accessing the building through the verandah.


PROJECT: The components of the design included the addition of large sliding doors from a living room to the courtuyard, planting in the couryard, a retracted awning, integration of bench seats and the construction of an awning to the arrival point. The sliding doors were very light weight and made it easy for people to move in and out of the building. The rest of the features supproted the courtyard being a sheltered, light-filled space that would be provide a good place to sit.