Innovative New Wing for Indigenous Aboriginals

Ecotect architect, James Shaw, is excited about the design aspects of one of his new projects. The Mandurah Retirement Village (MRV) currently has around 100 beds and provides comprehensive services that range from independent living units to specific wings for dementia patients. A 20 bed extension wing is planned in the South West corner of the MRV to specifically accommodate elderly and homeless indigenous Aboriginals.

James Shaw at Ecotect Architects office in Cottesloe

James Shaw at Ecotect Architects office in Cottesloe

An MRV First

This is the first time that the MRV has incorporated a specific wing in consideration of the special needs of elderly Aboriginal people by housing them in a special wing of their own due to their cultural linkages. In the design, James stated that these people needed to be together when old as they relate better with their own kind and they can age with dignity in a compassionate environment.

The wing in the South West corner will be accessible from the external road while still being linked to shared health services, but slightly separated from the main complex. It will have its own kitchen and communal areas and a series of interlinking courtyards. All units will face North to maximise light and the complex will be a passive solar building. The units will all open onto verandas which will be adjacent to courtyards and provide the cultural affinity indigenous people have to the outdoors.

The design is in its early stages and James is liaising with the regional Communications Manager for Aboriginal Health Services, George Wally. MRV manager, Don Pember, who has extensive experience in this field working up north in WA, instigated the project. As the design develops, James Shaw will provide further updates to this highly innovative project by Ecotect Architects.

Photo Credits: Nick Melidonis,