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Issue #67 / Australia $16.50 / New Zealand $17.50 / Singapore $12.95 / U.S. $21.99

A professional resource for the design curious.

Martí Guixé, food designer Lonely Planet, Siren Design University of Sydney, Carr Heidi Smith, Gray Puksand Notel Melbourne, Edwards Moore The ‘design appetite’ issue.

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23/09/2016 10:30 AM


IN SITU

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16/09/2016 12:30 PM


IN SITU

What is interior design’s responsibility in revolutionising aged-care environments? The new Emmy Monash Aged-Care facility in Melbourne’s Caufield has all the luxury commodities of a contemporary multi-residential complex. From thoughtfully considered finishes through to superior shared facilities, no expense has been spared on residents’ comfort and quality of life.

Forever Young Gandel House at Emmy Monash Aged-Care by Bates Smart Words Marg Hearn Photography Sean Fennessy

Opposite: The high street style café where friends and family can meet for coffee. Page 122 - 123: The salon where residents can get their beauty ‘touch ups’ and mingle with neighbours and friends. Page 124: A standard room, deliberately designed to feel youthful.

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How ‘Well’ Does It Rate? According to the Bates Smart Wellbeing Design Index, which defines the built environment factors that influence wellbeing and assigns performance measures, Gandel House at Emmy Monash AgedCare achieves a score of nine or 10 out of 10 across 12 factors. These factors include physical health, social health, cognitive health, psychological health and personal safety.

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Community-based organisation Emmy Monash Aged-Care commissioned Bates Smart to bring their experience in healthcare, residential and hospitality design to create “superior” residential aged-care for Melbourne’s Jewish community. “Our biggest driving desire was to de-institutionalise the clinical nature of the functional requirements of an aged-care facility,” says Bates Smart’s interior design director, Jeffery Copolov. That started by orientating the building to allow natural light penetration deep into the “figure of eight plan”, and positioning each of the 97 low-and-high-dependency residential rooms around the perimeter and the two internal courtyards. Maintaining resident contact with natural light, nature or planting at any point in time on any of the four residential levels “improves the sense of wellbeing,” explains Copolov. “It gives an understanding of light and day, the seasons and the passing of time.” Each of the interior spaces are deliberately youthful. “We didn’t want a place full of floral or to stereotype seniors by making interiors that look old world – these people enjoy contemporary art and theatre.” The modern design of the custom made furniture goes above and beyond the standard pragmatic needs of firmness, armrests, short seats and upright backs, as does the extra step of collaborating with suppliers to redesign the colourways of the mandatory protection materials. Another disruptor to the aged-care norm is the hospitality-driven idea of ensuring that food is freshly plated in servery kitchens. They are located next to intimate, communal dining rooms on each level and connected to a principal basement kitchen. An authentic beauty salon is prominently located adjacent to a high street style café on the ground floor. The likes of these amenities along with cosy communal lounges set around fireplaces, serene secondary seating areas, a library, cinema, music therapy and activities rooms, all help to foster

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“community, conversation and social stimulation,” Copolov says. Gandel House has undoubtedly been completed to a high standard, “but nonetheless, a stringent budget still applied”, says Copolov of the use of proprietary black aluminium window frames; easy clean and replaceable proprietary carpet tiles and the panelised plasterboard walls “strapped” with MDF. This wall design detailing was driven by the use of a proprietary plastic extrusion for the bumper bars, which Bates Smart reverse-engineered in place of the common retro-fitted options. Grab rails were also designed and fitted with custom style powder coated steel brackets. From varying table settings to denote different meal times, to minimising the impact of signage, lining walls with art hanging rails, and generous private storage, here it’s about “care, thought and good design” – exploring “how to make the experience fuller as you might at home”. That’s strongly expressed by the unique sense of personal address of each individual residence – signified by a change of bulkhead, a generous timber veneer front door, transitioning of the floor finish, a light fitting and a memory box for displaying personalised photos and objects. “Yes there is a need for a budget to provide the diversity of amenities and space, and some budgets will be more generous than others,” Copolov concedes of the $50 million budget. “But you also need to have a client who is seeking it, an architect who is pushing for it and a common desire to achieve it,” he asserts. “I think the greatest contribution that we as designers can make is when we raise the bar – and it’s our job to do so by questioning every aspect of a brief and the accepted ruled of the sector in general.” It’s projects like this that can help lift market expectations in aged-care and pull the rest of the sector along. batessmart.com

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Can Age Be Designed Out? Gandel House at Emmy Monash Aged-Care is a strong reminder of design’s responsibility in revolutionising the sector. Here, Bates Smart explores how the built environment can improve a sense of wellbeing and healing by using the premise of their research in the area: ‘a state of health, happiness and prosperity is influenced by – social, physical, spiritual, cognitive and economic wellbeing’. The facility provides an aspirational lifestyle, medical care and support for residents, an inviting place for visitors and a workplace of excellence for staff.

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Profile for Bates Smart Architects

Gandel House at Emmy Monash Aged Care, Indesign, Nov 2016  

Gandel House at Emmy Monash Aged Care, Indesign, Nov 2016