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Kokoda Residences, Waitara which sets a new benchmark in vertical independent retirement living has won the coveted UDIA NSW Award for Excellence in Retirement Living

With its innovative urban planning, confident yet sensitive architecture, warm and textured interiors, lush landscaping, attention to detail and the creation of a sense of place, Kokoda’s sustainable living community is more like a retirement ‘resort’.

Kokoda is twelve storeys with a mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments all wrapped around a sun drenched north facing courtyard, with a clearly articulated organisation of internal and external amenities including a community café, BBQ, resident lounge & bar, gymnasium, cinema, hairdressing salon and bookable work rooms.

UDIA judges were impressed by the development's "positive contribution to the streetscape, and lovely balance of elegance and function with careful attention to detail."

The Kokoda Residences project faced several challenges in transforming a twelve-storey urban development into a resort-style retirement facility with a strong sense of community. The initial challenge was to reorient the building to maximize sunlight and create a connection with the surrounding neighborhood. Clever design, materials selection, and collaboration with the local council facilitated the necessary changes for final approval.

The built form and architecture played a vital role in the project's success. The north-facing courtyard provided a visual connection to the community facilities, while the community cafe and amenities activated the street edge, fostering a direct physical connection with the broader community. The use of curved balconies, quality external fixtures, and innovative materials added to the appeal of the development.

Innovation was also evident in the passive solar design, use of sustainable materials, and incorporation of electric car charging bays. The design took a holistic approach, considering the site, local context, and broader community to create a unique sense of place for residents and guests.

The project's success was further enhanced by the residents' initiatives, such as happy hours, book clubs, and family gatherings, which strengthened the sense of community. The positive reaction from residents and their families affirmed that Kokoda Residences was a welcome addition to the local community

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Posted by Claire Davies

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