This home was recently designed with aging at the forefront. The brief was to support an elderly couple with empathetic design principles so the owners could live independently and in comfort. This meant accessibility had to be addressed initially instead of of retroactively adding such features.
Bent Architecture were brought in to help the couple achieve their dreams. By purchasing a smaller block of land, in close proximity to Mt Eliza village, the owners, Ann and John, could maintain their house and land and have easy access to shops and facilities.
Moving to a smaller site meant that the owners had to forego their large and leafy garden, so it was important that the new home would be surrounded by greenery.
By implementing large and open windows straight out to the garden the couple would be able to keep the strong connections to the outdoors. This was achieved so successfully that it’s almost hard to believe that this lush haven is actually on a suburban street.
A central courtyard further accentuates the feeling of being surrounded by nature. Instead of a front fence, the entire garden runs straight out onto the nature strip, allowing Ann and John to enjoy their love of spending time in the garden. Ann says: “For us, the new home breaks down the barrier between traditional habitation and the natural world. In our older years, this property provides great solace.”
Another important element was ensuring that in spite of the downsizing that there would also be space for children and grandchildren to stay when visiting. This was addressed by adding a bedroom, bathroom and living area upstairs and under the roofline of the home. Ann and John don’t need to bother themselves with the stairs and can also rest assured that their family has a place of their own. The roof includes skylights which allow visitors to experience the beautiful views of the surrounding treetops.
To allow for maximum accessibility there are no steps, doors are wheelchair-friendly, and heavy sliding doors are replaced with french doors, enabling wide openings and ease in opening and closing. All throughout the house, keen attention was paid to ensure the house would be easy to maintain.
Polished concrete floors were an addition which provided for easy cleaning and to reduce the danger of tripping and falling. The home is not only stunning, but also unassumingly supportive of the needs of senior living. Ann and John were delighted with the results and looked forward to many years of convenient and comfortable living.
Very sadly, John recently passed away. Bent Architecture were devastated by the news but sought solace in the fact that thanks to their carefully considered design, John was able to receive palliative care in the home he dreamed of and loved. They stated: “While John didn’t get the chance to enjoy his ‘beautiful home’ for as long as we all wished, it’s an honor to have worked with both he and Ann to design his final home. Vale, John.”
Photos by Tatjana Plitt