In a move that will surely become the standard-bearer for aged care accommodation design, award-winning Melbourne design practice Studio Tate has established a remarkable sanctuary for seniors that proves the adage that age should never be a barrier to style.
At the Eva Tilley Memorial Home in Melbourne’s leafy suburb of North Balwyn, gone is the expected institutional colour palette, banished are the clinical hallways and shared spaces, and the vibe is definitely more boutique hotel than last resort. “In the redesign of this home, we were inspired to create an elevated aesthetic and to benefit as many residents as possible through creating zones to accommodate the comprehensive lifestyle program that includes everything from art classes to Friday night drinks,” says Studio Tate Senior Interior Designer, Bessie Lette.
“With practicality and comfort as key signatures, and unexpected design gestures such as natural stone and pops of colour, individual character was given to each wing, whilst highly customisable features and decorative shelving endeavours to encourage personalisation,” she says. “It was injecting these unexpected moments and characteristics that ensured the project had a unique sense of identity,”
The Eva Tilley in-house beauty salon wouldn’t look out of place in a hip retail strip, with striking lighting fixtures, sheer linen curtains and individual nail bars with curved terrazzo benchtops crafted from Fibonacci Stone’s Abstrakt slabs. Those terrazzo slabs are repeated in the café bar and benchtops throughout the home, adding an element of contemporary luxury to the spaces. “The Abstrakt stone became a key material in various spaces throughout the project, it’s graphic black and white appearance softened by the softer, subtler tones of the furnishings to the areas at large. The black fleck also married nicely with other architectural details,” says Lette.
The inclusion of Fibonacci Stone in this exceptional project was led by several important factors according to Studio Tate. “The guarantee of no lead time on Fibonacci’s products assisted the contractors on-site and ensured that the project moved quickly. As the stone was an integral feature in numerous spaces this was a great reassurance. Also, durability was essential to this project, with surfaces requiring longevity and maintenance over time. It’s suitability for wet areas when combined with an applied sealant meant the product was well received by the client, instilling confidence that it would indeed stand the test of time.”
Seeing yet another very successful project featuring Fibonacci Stone products has been extremely satisfying for Creative Director, Michael Karakolis. “Since the introduction of our Dramaturgy Slab Collection we have continued to see and enjoy the different applications designers have considered and specified our slabs for. It’s always inspiring to see our products being used in forward-thinking projects such as this where Studio Tate have challenged the status quo. Good on them for taking this inspiring approach,” says Michael.
Photography by Thomas Brooke