A home for retirement
The design of a residence is one of the most onerous challenges an architect can face. While other buildings may have bigger impact in terms of scale or function, it is a house that provides the fundamental human need for shelter while also encapsulating a person’s life style and, at times, embodying their image to the wider community. Edmiston Jones has completed the design of a Far South Coast residence located on a very special block of land with a northerly aspect over looking Wallaga Lake and views to Gulaga Mountain in the distance. It was a privilege to work alongside Mr and Mrs W as we interrogated their requirements for a home to enjoy in retirement. It is a particular responsibility to create, what is likely to be, a couple’s last residence where the occupants are in semi or full retirement and children, now grown-up, will be visiting with their own families. A home at this stage of life is best described as a one-bedroom apartment with attached guest accommodation. The ‘apartment’ contains the open living/ dining area, a kitchen and laundry as well as the master bedroom suite. A home built for the retirement years needs to cater for ageing owners with a well-organised use of space allowing for the efficient movement of the occupants. Solar access needs to be carefully considered as the residents have more time to sit and enjoy the sunshine. The ‘guest accommodation’ can be shut off for much of the time minimising cleaning and allowing guests independence when they visit. In the case of the Wallaga Lake residence, special requirements such as space for the Mrs W’s yoga mat in the bedroom, and a separate study where Mr W could play his guitar - well away from the master bedroom - were incorporated in the design.