Sophistication the decisive factor in Melbourne's retiree development boom

Sophistication the decisive factor in Melbourne's retiree development boom
Sophistication the decisive factor in Melbourne's retiree development boom

"With Melbourne’s ageing population forecast to almost triple from 2011 to 2051, there is an increasing demographic seeking a future home that offers world-class design and facilities, beautiful residences, and an exceptional level of service."

Australian Unity's Kevin McCoy succinctly sums the perceptible shift in independent living and aged care design that is sweeping across Melbourne. The heightened sophistication across an increasing number of Melbourne projects is headed by Australian Unity's transformation of their former Albert Road headquarters in South Melbourne.

The $120 million vertical retirement community dubbed The Grace Albert Park Lake at 128 Albert Road is intended to be the most prestigious address of its kind in Australia.

Fender Katsalidis Architects and Mim Design jointly conceived the design of the complex which includes 79 one, two and three bedroom residences plus a penthouse.

'Courtyard Community Clubs' run through the building, effectively designed to provide engaging break out spaces for residents.

Sophistication the decisive factor in Melbourne's retiree development boom
Common area within The Grace. Image: Australian Unity

“Our focus for the design was to ensure residents of The Grace Albert Park Lake can interact and engage with the building’s stunning surroundings, regardless of where they are in the building. With floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of Albert Park Lake, the single and double height spaces offer different experiences and a continuous connection with nature," says David Sutherland of Fender Katsalidis.

Projects such as The Grace Albert Park Lake are now keeping pace with high end contemporary apartment developments in the array of amenities on offer. Australian Unity's pursuit will include an artists’ studio, games room, explorers' den, edible garden, piano lounge, theatrette, health and fitness centre, pool, dedicated dining space and rooftop terrace.

Whilst The Grace Albert Park Lake has been positioned to lead the pack, a new rash of retirement living and aged care developments are also on the horizon, with both typologies closely aligned often developed alongside one another.

Provider TLC is backing a stylish new facility in Mordialloc that has yet to be decided upon by Council. The Via Architects design at 113 McDonald Road includes 150 aged care spaces in a sweeping design that meets two street frontages, also incorporating an integrated medical centre, child care centre and community facilities.

Via Architects notes "The scheme aims to provide a high quality integrated care development including: aged care beds, child care centre, medical centre, a retail/cafe space as well as community therapy and wellness facilities. The 1 scheme also provides external 1 communal gardens to be shared with neighbouring properties."

This comes on the back of TLC overseeing the finishing touches to their Clifton Hill Integrated Health Care Hub, simply known as Clifton Views. Reflective of the progressive design being applied to the sector, the development nabbed an award for 'The Most Innovative Aged Care Housing Design Globally' at the Over 50s Global Housing Awards.

Sophistication the decisive factor in Melbourne's retiree development boom
Mordialloc and Clifton Hill. Images: TLC

Capitalising on the growth of the retiree sector, prolific apartment developer Steller has also elected to drive into aged care developments. Recently Steller Managing Director Nicholas Smedley said the firm now has a pipeline of 14 aged-related assets in various stages of development.

One such development is Oakleigh's 735-771 Warrigal Road which is at planning with City of Monash, and is another Via Architects design.

The sweeping low-rise design has capacity for 136 beds and various amenities such as a dining room, lounge and café, gym, theatre, activity rooms and outdoor terraces.

Sophistication the decisive factor in Melbourne's retiree development boom
Steller's aged care Oakleigh intention. Image: Via Architects

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

Australian Unity Fender Katsalidis Architects Via Architects

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