$70,000 up for grabs: how to get your hands on some of it

3 minute read

The DoHAC has launched a competition to test its new aged care design Principles and Guidelines.

The DoHAC has launched a competition for architects and designers to reimagine an innovative aged care home to showcase the government’s new design principles and guidelines for RACFs. 

Called Reimagining where we live, the competition is part of the government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendation that it should “guide the design of the best and most appropriate residential aged care accommodation for older people”. 

The design should be accessible, dementia-friendly and capable of application to “small household” models of accommodation as well as to enablement and respite accommodation settings, and amended from time to time to reflect contemporary best practice. 

In response the government released the draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines in September.  

The competition is open to multidisciplinary design teams led by a registered Australian architect or graduate of an Australian accredited architectural program. First prize is $50,000, and second prize is $20,000.  

The competition will be judged by a jury made up of nine members, including 2023 Senior Australian of the Year Professor Tom Calma, architects Kerstin Thompson, John Choi and Allen Kong, landscape architect Dr Catherin Bull, interior designer Erin McDonald, aged care sector leader and dementia expert Dr Stephen Judd, design advocate and media personality Tim Ross, and member of the organising committee Sophie Dyring. 

Additionally a focus group of six people with lived experience of dementia will serve as advisers to the jury. 

The are four guiding principles in the national framework are enable the person; cultivate a home; access the outdoors; and connect with community. 

The brief for the competition also lists five design aspirations: 

  • A place where you can live your best life within and as part of a community and neighbourhood. 
  • A welcoming and safe “family” home environment. 
  • A supportive setting for high-quality care promoting health and wellbeing. 
  • Respect and dignity and embrace diverse cultures and life experiences. 
  • Innovative aged care accommodation for the future. 

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Two hypothetical sites have been chosen for the competition – one an urban metro development site for at least 100 residents (a “medium to large” development), and the other a regional town development site for 60 residents (a “small” development). 

Entrants can choose one or the other, or do both. 

The full competition brief is available here. The competition closes at noon AEDT on 15 December 2023. Judging will take place in February 2024, with winners announced by the end of April 2024. 

The draft National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines were developed following extensive consultation with older people, their families and carers. They will be introduced from 1 July 2024. 

Do you have a story tip for us, or a topic you would like to see us cover? Contact the editor at editor@healthservicesdaily.com.au.

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