Thursday, April 25, 2024

Retirement village vies for double national honours

Victorian company, VIA Architects, has been named a double finalist at the Property Council
of Australia’s National Retirement Living Awards 2023 for its Pavilions Blackburn Lake development (pictured).

The project has been shortlisted in two categories: the Award for Best Retirement Village
Development and the Award for Best Luxury Retirement Living Development.

The project, developed by the Seventh Day Adventist Church and designed by VIA Architects, with interiors by Hecker Guthrie, has been recognised for its innovative architecture and thoughtful approach to seniors living.

The project masterplan, led by Director Frank Bambino, was designed to celebrate community-led living while fostering social connections amongst future residents.

“Creating a connected community atmosphere is high on our agenda when approaching a new senior’s living project. Cultivating a sense of belonging amongst residents is an essential consideration, along with creating an environment where residents can truly thrive. Pavilions Blackburn Lake was no exception,” said Mr Bambino.

An eco-conscious development at its core, Pavilions is positioned on a rare parcel of native
bushland. The low-line buildings take up just 20% of the 4.6-hectare site, with the
remaining 80% of the site’s biodiversity and ecology preserved across three conservation

The preserved bushland enhances the natural ecological link with Blackburn Lake Reserve
(opposite), while encouraging residents to spend more time outdoors leading active lifestyles.

The site has been owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church since the 1920s, and was
once the location where camping events were regularly held. Paying homage to this history,
each building was crafted as seven individual pavilions.

The unique landscape allowed VIA to encourage impromptu interactions between residents
through the design, with the premium facilities dispersed across the development.

The human-led ethos is visible from every angle of the project, including the street frontage, where modern inner-city-style café Miss Lucy welcomes the neighbourhood and provides a social link between residents and the broader community.

Denise Massoud, Deputy Mayor at the Whitehorse City Council agreed that since its
opening, the cafe has aided in bringing the community together.

“Miss Lucy has become a regular meeting place for residents and locals in general. There
are opportunities for groups to meet at the café, dogs are welcome, and they also have great spaces for families to gather for private celebrations,” said Mayor Massoud.

Internal streets within the development further activate the shared amenities, currently
comprising a cinema room, games room, library and business centre. The future stages will
feature a pool, yoga studio, wellness centre and amphitheatre, further enhancing the lifestyle of the residents.

The winners will be announced on the 22 June 2023, during the Property Council of
Australia National Retirement Living Summit at The Star, Gold Coast.

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