RSL Lifecare Sets A New Benchmark For Aged Care Interior Design


RSL Lifecare are proud to have recently opened Arthur Blackburn VC Gardens in Port Macquarie, NSW. Together with McNally Architects, the inspiring Residential Aged Care Facility has a fresh vision for its interiors. The space reflects the soothing coastal hues of the local region, which has influenced the interior design direction.

This beautiful new living community will be a homely environment for 80 residents who seek residential care. Co-located at Pozieres Village, the accommodation will include private rooms with en-suites within an elegant, comfortable and secure environment with a hotel-like ambience.  Expanding over two levels, the facility includes a central Community Centre that connects the floors over a light filled void with views of the swimming pool, bowling green and sun-drenched gardens outside.

The Design Brief

The design brief was to develop an interiors scheme for all furnishing, lighting and decor throughout the facility to compliment the interior finishes scheme.  The McNally Architects team also wanted to ensure that the design was timeless to ensure the longevity of the interiors for years to come.

Taking inspiration from the coastal hues of the local region, the concept was based around the relaxed palette hues of the sea, sun and sand to create an elegant hotel-like ambience which is also comfortable and secure for all residents and employees.

“Our vision for the interiors was to create a safe and warm environment. Each finish has been carefully curated to compliment the construction. Customised Florence Broadhurst fabrics by Materialised adorn the furniture; elegant light fixtures by Arturo Alvarez and David Truebridge illuminate the communal areas; original artwork and prints enrich the living areas and hallways, to create a welcoming space for residents and their families.” Caroline McNally of McNally Architects said.

With four wings to Arthur Blackburn VC Gardens, dining and living spaces were created to complement each other. Customised fabrics and finishes with a nod to the coastal concept were developed to tie the spaces together. 

Custom Furnishings

Interwoven throughout each wing of the facility, artwork has been carefully selected and curated to compliment the upholstery and finishes selection. The fabric colours, patterns and artwork also prove as an important way-finding tool for residents when navigating the facility.

This development houses 80 beds across the two floors. Two different schemes were developed to differentiate each floor. The rooms have a relaxing neutral colour palette that can adapt when residents arrive to create their own environment. Finishes such as linen curtains, roller blinds, textural wallpaper and comfortable armchairs give a residential and relaxing feel to the space.

When approaching the Community Centre, the impressive double height glass void is illuminated with custom lighting to instil the coastal feel within the space.  When planning the various spaces, intimate conversational areas provided opportunities for residents and their visiting families to gather and make use of the communal areas. These zones also utilised custom furnishing to be different to the Aged Care Residential space, creating a destination for residents to visit. ‘Attention to detail, crucial communication and an extraordinary ability to interpret the brief and convert it to a detailed project presentation meant that McNally were able to bring our vision to life every time.’ Anne Kauffmann, Executive General Manager Residential, RSL LifeCare

Materialised Products

Materialised features in pretty much every space, from drapery, dining and lounge areas.

The following upholstery fabrics were customised to work with the coastal brief:

Our Fire Retardant acoustic sheer, Soundcheck, was used in common areas which helps to reduce echo and unwanted noise. Beautiful wide width Brooklyn was chosen for bedrooms.

“McNally Architects have designed the furnishings and stylised the interiors of the Arthur Blackburn VC Gardens. The style was based around the coastal seaside all colour schemes are tasteful and calming the perfect match for an Aged Care Facility. Feedback from recent tours form relatives and prospective residents is “we are delighted and amazed that this is a Nursing home and that the interior is to the standard of a five-star resort. I am congratulated daily on the welcoming feel and look of the home.” Florence Cantwell, RSL LifeCare Manager.

About McNally Architects

Caroline McNally - Director I+D Studio and Senior Interior Designer at McNally Architects.

Caroline brings over 15 years Interior Design and project management experience to all interiors projects. Ranging from new builds and total refurbishment projects for seniors living, residential and commercial.

Established in 2001, McNally Architects today is the product of a talented team of Architects, Interior Designers and specialists who apply their unique skills and creativity to produce quality design solutions across Seniors Living, Residential and Commercial clients.

Recognising the level of specialisation required to meet the needs of these sectors, Caroline and her business partner Julie Pride, formed I+D studio to focus on and provide specialist interior design services for their clients and industries.

Caroline leads all Interior Design work and takes a thoughtful approach when interpreting the brief.  Managing a team of talented interior designers, we are involved with all aspects of the project, including initial concept design, design development, documentation, procurement, construction and final delivery.

Credits:  McNally Architects (@mcnallyarchitects) and I+D Studio (@ianddstudio).

I+D STUDIO launches on July 5th, 2019.

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team

Sign up to our mailing list