Rathdowne Place


  • Australian Unity Retirement Living
  • Daryl Jackson Architects
  • Site Image


Rathdowne Place is the first vertical medium density seniors living development in Australia; combining inner-city living, designer accommodation, quality care and wellbeing services.

The accommodation and service models that traditionally inform the layout and design is redefined, challenging the established hospital and nursing models of long corridors, prominent nurses’ stations and schedulised routines.

The building design carves out a light-filled activity precinct, flanked by two private accommodation wings. Quality finishes distinguish the facility with luxurious fabrics and artwork, creating the sense of being in a beautifully furnished home – it is arguably a home for its occupants and not a ‘facility’.

Key Features



The driving factor of the design and layout is our model of care – Better Together, which centers on the individual.
There are two ‘wings’ on levels 2-5 housing 17 private rooms – able to be closed-off from the shared living, dining and kitchen spaces between the bed wings. A centrally located workstation on each floor is designed to feel like a concierge desk at an expensive hotel and facilitates staff paperwork and subtle observation.

Externally, the outer shell is fractured to impart identity, highlighting the privacy of the bedrooms. The central balcony and communal rooms serve to ensure the ‘collective’.



The design reinforces the importance of community, providing a variety of opportunities for social exchange, self-care and enhanced companionship.

Domestic scale fireplaces, individually curated artwork, television and intimate sitting room spaces have been carefully designed to offer a new personalised level of care.

Each household has a dining room and kitchen which keeps the community together and strengthens neighbourhood relationships. Residents participate in the preparation, consumption and enjoyment of each meal.



Rathdowne Place reaches out to the wider community by providing other services – short-stay respite care, a seniors’ gym, hydrotherapy pool, cinema, café / restaurant and facilities for wider community gatherings.

This connection to the broader community de-institutionalises the traditional approach to aged care and provides ongoing relationships to the wider community. The creation of a genuine resident community, where relatives, friends and local visitors share the facilities, bringing a “new look” to aged care and the wellbeing of older Australians.



The day centre and the wellbeing centre combine to present more cost effective modes of rehabilitation and daily engagement for people living in the wider community as well as those living within the Rathdowne Place community.
Co-location of the wellbeing facilities with the aged care center reduces travel time and cost to medical support services, residents and visitors while respite care on-site and rehabilitation facilities reduces stress and trauma for patients, family and friends.


New Industry Standards

Rathdowne Place is the first example of how we can change the views and pre-conceived ideas about what aged care really is by

– De-institutionalising housing and care for senior Australians
– Supporting activities of daily life within a care environment.
– On-site wellbeing facilities to support health and wellbeing including day respite

We have hosted ~60% of the Australian Aged Care Industry providers and key decision makers through Rathdowne Place, sharing the benefits of the Better Together model so residents across Australia can expect more personalised service in a warm, household environment.

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