Melbourne-based VIA Architects and the Brotherhood of St. Laurence teamed up to design a facility that helps some of our most disadvantaged elderly people live with dignity.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence, or BSL, is a community organisation that works across Australia to prevent and alleviate poverty.
This mission was the driving force behind the design and development of BSL’s new aged care residential facility in the inner Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill.
The new aged care facility, which opened in March, caters for all elderly people but has a special focus on the needs of some of the most disadvantaged members of our community.
More than one in 10 people aged 65 and over live below the poverty line – a situation made worse since the COVID-19 pandemic. Those living on the margins are now at risk of deep disadvantage.
The BSL Aged Care Clifton Hill facility provides a stable and safe home to 114 residents. Each resident enjoys the privacy of their own room with an ensuite. Windows flood the rooms with natural light and some boast garden and city views.
“We always design for people. A building isn’t just about the form –it’s about how well it works for those that use it,” says VIA Architects’ director, Frank Bambino.
“Our designers sought to create a sensory space that exudes contemporary style and harnesses a tranquil ambience while integrating communal areas including a gym, salon and physio.”
The four-storey building enhances wellbeing and connectivity between generations and the general public through clever design.
For example, the building incorporates a café which gives young adults experiencing significant barriers to employment the chance to gain the skills to pursue careers in hospitality.
The café was deliberately positioned across the road from a local primary school to attract parents doing the daily drop off and pick up. The landscaping was designed to encourage connectivity between the two sites to encourage programs that enhance the lives of both groups.
BSL is proud of the positive impact the facility has on residents, staff and the community.
“My personal philosophy and commitment is to ensure our residential aged care genuinely supports people to live a life with dignity and to uncover what matters most for each unique life,” says BSL’s director of aged care and business architecture, Tim Nayton.
“I believe VIA successfully delivered a well-designed project for both our residents and staff.” Nayton says his team is especially proud of this project.
"At VIA, not only do we seek to go above and beyond our client expectations, but we also relish in the idea of improving the lives of those who will ultimately utilise the building and space," Bambino concludes.