Ashburton Seniors Community Facility


Ashburton, Victoria


20XX – 20XX


Principal Consultant
Contract Administration
Interior Design
Workplace Strategy and Design
Landscape design
Design team management


The new Ashburton Seniors Community Facility has replaced an existing two-storey, late-1960s ineffective building that was well past its useful life, with a fit-for-purpose centre of the future.

The single-level facility offers accessible spaces and seamless navigation for older adults and staff across a range of functions. Services accommodated include social support services for more than 500 people, a distribution centre for Meals-On-Wheels, spaces for activities such as dancing, art, health and fitness, concerts and board game sessions, plus other associated community services such as hairdressing and podiatry.

A haven for senior learning

In response to the changing needs of staff and older adult population in the area, together with the predicted growth in the over-60s population across the next 30 years, the project has delivered a new place of learning and creative activity.

Delivering value through engagement

A drive to optimise the way people move through the spaces informed many of the design decisions on this project, and was achieved through an engagement-rich, collaborative process. Our team facilitated frequent meetings with Council, key stakeholders and the community to understand their needs, functional requirements, and challenges with the existing facility.

Our engagement-driven process guided the inclusion of key elements such as central administration offices providing better surveillance to the building ‘wings’. Flexibility and connection is achieved via break out spaces off the hallway, and a generous mezzanine level inside the entryway atrium which overlooks the adjacent bowling green and parkland.

Monumental yet intimate

Inspired by the scale and expression of the Säynätsalo Town Hall in Finland, completed in 1949 by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, the design of the Ashburton Seniors Community Facility seeks to blend a monumental exterior with intimate internal spaces.

Connecting community

Capturing a modern aesthetic with striking rooflines and generous spaces arranged on one level around a central courtyard, the centre is designed to bring the community together. Carefully planned to embrace its peaceful surroundings and leafy reserve aspects, the facility acts as a visual gateway to the existing, adjacent health and fitness park precinct.

Supporting diverse uses and needs

The building provides a mix of new multi-functional activity spaces to support the growing needs of the community. Key new spaces include:

  • Foyer and reception area
  • Admin offices
  • Recharging area for scooters
  • Main hall with stage and an operable wall to function as two smaller rooms
  • Four function rooms
  • Computer room
  • Full kitchen, pantry and cool room; and
  • Dining room

Enhancing community outcomes

Our larger ambition for the centre is to successfully transition to a key hub for the wider community, contributing to enhanced health, happiness and wellbeing, and providing the important social, cultural and recreational drivers required to build a thriving community.

“This new, fit for purpose centre will be a contemporary and accessible facility providing opportunities for older residents to both have increased social connection and participate in lifelong learning, both of which can have tremendous positive effects on an individual’s overall health and well-being.”

Cr Cynthia Watson
Past Mayor, City of Boroondara