Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor – St Joseph’s Home is set on a large site in St George’s Road, Northcote. The commanding hilltop position was purchased by the French Order of Sisters in 1885 and it quickly became established as a centre for the care of elderly and homeless. Today, the extensive grounds with mature gardens provide a sanctuary like setting for Aged Care residents and the independent living seniors they care for.

Smith + Tracey have completed a 22 apartment, 2 storey independent living building and the major refurbishment and extension of the existing multi-level Aged Care. The design had to consider integration of the existing architectural language established at the site with new materials and finishes both internally and externally. The completed buildings present as beautifully considered and complimentary forms with a subdued clarity of details and materiality applied.

The Smith + Tracey design and delivery team have created a new contemporary facility that provides the residents with elegantly finished rooms and communal spaces within both the Aged Care and ILU apartment buildings. Sitting and dining spaces, lounges and lifestyle areas link active and passive areas to internal courtyards to maximise outlook and access to natural daylight. 

This project ran in parallel with the Sister’s other significant Aged Care redevelopment in Sydney undertaken by our Smith + Tracey Sydney team which allowed a sharing of learning across both sites.

During the course of construction a close alliance between client, architect and builder ensured the sensitivities of working a ‘live’ site with progressive staged hand overs for occupation were carefully managed.

The site remained fully operational during the multiple stages of construction activities which spanned from 2013 to 2018. The on-site team needed to be considerate and mindful of the operational facility, residents’ visitors and staff, making the communication strategy and proactive management an integral part of the construction process.

Smith + Tracey were the principal consultant for the entire process from the masterplanning, design output and superintendent of the construction on site. Continual collaboration with the builders was essential  to make this complex project a success.

The transformation of this not-for-profit care facility has been extremely well received by the client, their residents, staff and the wider Northcote community. Smith + Tracey are proud to be an integral part of the LSOP community.