Vasey Housing as a ‘not for profit’ organisation engaged WMK to design their first vertical retirement village in Waitara. Providing 117 dwellings the design focuses on building a strong and resilient community, with a clearly articulated organisation of internal and external amenities. The challenge was to allow for increased living amenity within tight site constraints and provide a distinct building design, within an area in transition from low scale housing to higher density apartment living.
WMK inherited a Stage 1 envelope control dictating the buildings massing and communal open space orientation. Our first move was to re-orientate the building to maximise sunlight to the courtyard terrace, a move fully supported by the client and authority. Then using an efficient floorplan and structural layout, the twelve-storey village focused on the needs of a senior living resident environment and flexible community uses including lounges, a resident bar and cafe, gymnasium and cinema facilities as well as hair dressing and bookable work rooms, to allow for individual and group activities, building a sustainable community.
Working closely with Vasey, the solution designed by WMK provides a retirement living environment with appropriate communal amenities, understanding the resident demographic and different independent and social needs and requirements.
Security, legibility and integration, and the provision of a home like and familiar atmosphere are central to the design. With Vasey’s expertise and experience and WMK design intelligence the vertical village provides a hierarchy of spaces, with varying levels of privacy, creating a welcoming and safe environment for residents. The building is due for completion in 2020.
Kokoda has won the UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence in Retirement Living
Photography by @Arthur Vay