The design approach of the new St Kilda Road Senior Living and Community Precinct emerged from a consultative and collaborative process that explored Jewish Care’s aspirations for its community. Through investigation, analysis and assessment of information gathered from the site, the brief, early workshops, and national and international tours, a narrative emerged around the integration of cultural values and the expectations of the Jewish community.
The spatial and organisational expression of the building reflects activities within and provides a clear composition that has both meaning and the flexibility to respond to the individual needs and choices of all ages using the facilities.
The precinct is designed to create a strong identity in a proud and respectful way. It encourages the Jewish approach of engagement through a meaningful life and an inclusive and cohesive community. We recognise the important contribution and legacy this precinct has for ‘supporting and enhancing the wellbeing of the Jewish community of Victoria by providing excellent support and care for individuals and families’.
The design explores the meaning of belonging and formulates values that relate specifically to this unique community and these have become the reference for the developing architecture. Some are explicitly Jewish, while others create a sense of experience in space or built form.
The 10-storey building emerges as a rising form embracing the sanctuary of the inner heart as its community focus. The building mass is articulated vertically with four main components responsive to the mix of accommodation provided. Architecturally these four layers are clearly expressed in the form and facade treatment and this visually breaks down the scale of the building. The fluid podium creates an inviting experience at street level and the residential floors are visually enriched with coloured panels, applied screening and large areas of glazing. A rooftop lounge crowns the building with 360 degree views. The architectural vocabulary is reflective of the surrounding context and ‘grain’ of the St Kilda Road area.
The residential levels are layered to provide graded privacy with individual bedrooms placed as neighbourhoods in the fingers of the building plan with common spaces and activity spaces placed at the hub of the plan. The living and dining spaces (linked to the winter gardens) connect directly to the building’s vertical circulation, creating an arrival experience for each house.
The 156 residential aged care beds are placed within seven levels of luxuriously appointed rooms. Residents experience Jewish Care’s best practice philosophy of the ‘hand in hand’ model of care. This is an innovative model where residents are supported in small ‘family’ groups in a heimish environment. Residential houses have self-contained lounge, dining, Kosher kitchen and recreational spaces – promoting inclusion, dignity, wellbeing and self-help.
The residential floors are organised vertically. There is a mix of product offerings with three floors of aged care accommodation in two formats, Traditional and Classic, as well as four upper floors classified as Choice units.
Integrated throughout the building are various defined spaces that complement the aged care accommodation and provide a range of activities and opportunities for the precinct users. The community-based podium levels and rooftop function centre provide a variety of services and cultural spaces that embrace Jewish Care’s mission of delivering care to the community. It is care that meets the unique sensitivities of the residents, friends, families and staff within an inclusive and engaging environment. Jewish Care’s new Senior Living and Community Precinct extends its cultural offerings to the broader Jewish community and creates a vibrant and inviting hub.