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The New Ozanam House

By

  • MGS Architects
  • Accuraco Project Management
  • IrwinConsult
  • Webber Design
  • Outlines Landscape Architecture

Description

Ozanam House is VincentCare’s flagship facility providing shelter, healthcare services, case management and consulting to vulnerable individuals in a single location – an Australian first.

The transformation “from men’s night shelter to purpose-built centre represents an evolution in our response to homelessness.”

Eleven storeys high, 134 apartments sit over administration spaces, an expansive resource centre, health clinic and facilities such as a gym and library.

A commercial kitchen provides meals for the dining rooms and wider community.
The robust and secure general amenity is never-the-less friendly, inviting and non-institutional, providing high-level comfort in an environment where people feel valued and respected.

Key Features

1

A complex program has been realised functionally and socially, with a richness derived through resolving dichotomies presented in the brief. Clever spatial planning and material articulation negotiate the desire for welcoming and transparent spaces, with the need for high security and opportunities for discretion, solitude and retreat.

The project is a physical manifestation of VincentCare’s innovative and human-centric model of care.

Although large in size and ambition, the building sits comfortably in its urban context. Internally, familiar small-scale destinations are enhanced by appropriate room orientation and visible ‘green’ of landscaped courtyards, rooftops, terraces.

Building as a neighbourhood; amalgamated and textured.

2

As the leading and largest facility of its kind, has the potential to influence future responses.

Running costs reduced, environmental sustainability and amenity enhanced by:
-High-efficiency lighting systems, water-efficient fixtures, double-glazed windows, thermal and acoustic insulation, acoustic surface finishes throughout
-stormwater harvesting for toilets and irrigation eg ‘green roofs’
-‘green wall’ – north facade’s metal screen planted with vines to mediate light and temperature
-smart-enabled units can be managed remotely to ease energy demand and reduce overall costs. Rooftop PV’s further supplement
-energy-efficient air-conditioning systems provided throughout, including ERVs in apartments for optimum indoor air quality.

3

Efficiently meets the needs of more people with flexible accommodation options and a range of co-located services, and has expanded its client base to include women and the LGBTI community.

A dedicated accommodation entry and a complex, but readily understood transport system allows for freedom of movement in a secure facility.

Encourages autonomy – e.g. to do own laundry and with the provision of your own bathroom comes the responsibility to clean it.

Single location facilitates communication between administration, case workers, medical and dental staff.

Expanded food delivery framework – one large commercial kitchen services the facility and external soup vans.

4

‘One-stop-shop’ – delivers convenient access to services and accommodation and enhances clients’ respect as they are not demeaned by needing to tell their story multiple times.

Connection to street facilitates social interaction, encourages stepping through the front door.

Accommodation levels – internal ‘street’ layout with natural light, separate entry, varied palette of quality finishes, good acoustics all contribute to non-institutional ambience.

Public spaces are balanced with places for retreat; residents can be in bigger social groups, one-on-one consultations or seek solitude in high amenity surroundings.

Benchmarked against the Green Star scheme – solutions developed through deep collaboration with engineers and landscape architects.

5

Selection of fittings and fixtures was as critical to the feel and experience of the spaces as the wall and floor linings.

Furniture is fit-for-purpose, washable and able to withstand rough treatment. It was critical that opportunities for self-harm were limited.

‘Democratic’ material finishes, colour palette and graphic design speak to a diverse user-group, from all walks of life. Bold colour and pattern are balanced carefully with natural, earthy materials – brick, stone and timber – to imbue a sense of stability and ‘home’.

The interiors reflect VincentCare’s investment in the longevity of the facility and in their client’s futures.

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