Also opening is SummitCare in Baulkam Hill an aged-care facility that goes to new heights. The owner, Peter Wohl, gave us a terrific brief to create a living environment that would be less traditional aged-care facility and more a beautiful home, specified to luxurious hotel standards.

The result is a 186-room residential building that is light, spacious, stylish and comfortable with a wide range of facilities, including flexible living spaces, a restaurant and café, hair dressers and nail spa, wellness centre, family accommodation and specially designed large suites to suit couples who want to stay together.

We may be biased but we feel very confident residents and their families are going to love this new approach to aged-care living. While it is not a hotel, the facilities will be strikingly different to people’s preconceptions of aged-care.

Designing a major residential aged-care facility for the first time meant we had to factor in a number of operational considerations – like the mobility of residents.  All rooms needed to include lifting equipment which is typically large and cumbersome but we were able to incorporate these as discrete fixtures in the ceiling so the rooms will look more like a regular room in a hotel or home.  And residents aren’t limited to standard single beds.  There is a choice of anything from king single to double and queen, just like at home.

One of the most striking things in the research was the fact couples are not traditionally well served when they enter an aged-care facility and are generally separated depending on individual needs, even after years together.  So we made sure that couples can comfortably stay together in couples’ suites.