Development plans have been approved for a $100 million Fender Katsalidis-designed aged care village in Brisbane’s Auchenflower.
Purchased by Australian Unity in 2021, Fender Katsalidis was engaged to improve previously approved plans to create a community-focused retirement living precinct, providing high-quality design in the established suburb.
Increased demand for aged care in Queensland is being driven by the state’s ageing population, with the share of Queenslanders aged 85 years and over projected to more than double between 2019 and 2049.
Comprising 87 independent living apartments atop 108 residential aged care units, plans for the 18,242sqm development focus on the facilitation of social connection and community, aligned with Australian Unity’s ‘better together’ model.
The redesign has maximised northern light and views over the Taylor Ranges and Brisbane CBD while improving the functionality and spaciousness of common areas. A spacious internal courtyard creates a village typology providing residents with amenities including a small cafe, a hairdresser, a consultation room for medical practitioners and a rehabilitation gym.
Fender Katsalidis principal Jessica Lee says the project punctuated the firm’s commitment to providing human-centric design that holistically enhances the well-being of its residents.
“Addressing our ageing population means addressing the infrastructure,” she says.
“It is crucial that the way we design retirement living is conducive to positive, healthy outcomes for residents, and that each design is contexualised within its local neighbourhood, which is what our amended plans at Auchenflower have set out to achieve.”
Opting for a high-quality mineral paint finish on the concrete facade, the use of metal cladding at upper levels creates the illusion of a recessive shadow line that breaks up the presentation of the building’s facade. On lower planes, including around the communal internal courtyard, a tactile hand-cut brick has been used to promote fine-grain materiality, while an in-use Catholic Church on the site has been retained.
Having previously worked with Australian Unity on the award-winning retirement living project The Grace, Fender Katsalidis is recognised for human-centred design that provides connection between place, community and care, a necessity in the aged care sector.