Construction is well underway on 92 luxury apartments at The Green Tarragindi, with project completion anticipated for early 2023. We can’t wait to welcome our first residents into what promises to be a wonderful community, blending a superb location with tailored care and support options and generous green spaces – including the rejuvenated Tarragindi Bowls Club.
Recently, we took a moment to sit down with RetireAustralia’s Development team to find out about the vision for The Green.
As Senior Development Manager, Angus Spencer helped conceptualise The Green and guided the project from the very beginning. While Angus takes on a new challenge at RetireAustralia, Sharon Wardell will steer The Green through construction to opening.
Here, they share RetireAustralia’s vision for the village, explain how design elements have been selected to help residents live and age well, and which features they’d secretly like in their own home.
Q. Can you talk us through the thought process behind The Green? Why did you choose Tarragindi as the site for this village?
Angus: What we love about Tarragindi is that it’s a great community full of young families and some of the best schools on Brisbane’s south side. But the character of the area was changing, with retirees moving out of the area, and younger people splitting up the larger blocks and re-building.
The knock-on effect of this urban regeneration is that as people get older, they move to the fringes of the city away from the community they’ve been tied to for so many years.
I’ve seen this first-hand with my own neighbour, who couldn’t find a retirement village in our part of Brisbane. So, she moved to Wynnum, away from her friends and community, as well as her hairdresser, local shops, doctor and dentist. Now every time there’s a family event, one of her adult children makes a 3-hour round trip to make sure she’s included.
And I firmly believe that people should have the right to live in their community when they get older.
Q. Why is it so important for people to stay in their community?
Angus: Staying in your neighbourhood allows you to stay close to friends and family. Especially as we get older, it’s critical to create connections and maintain friendships.
The Green allows people to continue to enjoy all the things they love in their neighbourhood, and be part of a like-minded community. Equally if you’re looking to change things up in retirement, The Green is situated in a wonderful community close to everything you could need.
Sharon: The other important element is that we can provide care and support in the community. Residents can receive a variety of home care options, delivered in your own home by people you know and trust.
Q. Let’s move on to their apartments themselves. What are the must-haves for an apartment that encourages you to live and age well?
Angus: We talk about having an intentional design and care philosophy and prioritising safety in design. This means we’ve thought through all the details, right down to catering for residents with hearing loss and visual impairments.
The apartments are contemporary in design while being equitable for all residents. For example they include elements such as hearing loops in our communal spaces so residents can connect their hearing aids. We’ve made sure there are zero thresholds, which means a smooth transition when you walk onto your balcony, or from your bedroom into the bathroom. Solid bathroom walls allow residents to install handles if they ever need them. All of these things are specifically designed to help keep residents safe. The flexibility within our design allows residents to age in place, in beautiful, modern apartments within their community.
Sharon: The circulation space in the bedroom has been carefully considered and is very spacious. All master bedrooms can accommodate a queen size bed and there’s room for a bigger side table too. Now when residents transition to an apartment from a large home, they don’t feel like they’re coming into a little box. Instead, their bedroom will feel like a sanctuary.
There’s extra circulation space in the kitchen too, over and above what you’d expect in a normal apartment. This comfortably accommodates residents with a wheelchair or walker.
Angus: Our development ethos is founded on meeting national accreditation standards including Green Star and the Australian Livable Housing Design Gold Standard.
Every element is designed for an older user. In the kitchen, we’ve lifted up the microwaves and ovens, so residents don’t need to bend over.
We’ve included additional spaces around the shower and WC in every bathroom, which meets the Liveable Housing Australia gold requirement. This means there’s sufficient space for a carer to help with showering if ever needed. It’s seamless.
Q. Can you tell us more about the interiors?
Sharon: Angus has touched on the intentional care philosophy already, but I’ll expand more on the design philosophy behind The Green, because that guided a lot of these decisions. In essence, we focused on three key areas – creating a low-maintenance, private and secure lifestyle for residents.
If we look at low-maintenance, you’ll see the apartments are exceptionally well-appointed, with Smeg and Fisher and Paykel appliances, stone benchtops and separate laundries. We know that by incorporating top-of-the-line fittings and appliances, residents won’t need to worry about replacing or maintaining them, so this helps with a low-maintenance lifestyle.
As for security, each apartment has a personal emergency response system with support available 24/7. There’s also secure underground parking available, with passive surveillance, lighting and security monitoring.
And finally, we know privacy is a top priority for many residents. To balance this with a sense of community, we’ve dedicated seventy per cent of the site to open space. This means residents can enjoy sub-tropical gardens without leaving The Green. Each apartment also has a contemporary design and private balcony, which invites buckets of natural light into the living room, bedroom and balcony areas.
Angus: We chose a light, neutral colour palette so it complements an array of furniture colours and styles – we know not every resident buys new furniture before moving into a village.
The colour palette is designed to the Stirling University requirements for light reflectivity variation. The idea is that it’s a measure of the colour tone of a surface and its contrasted surface next to it. So when you transition from a tile to a carpet in similar colour tones, you don’t feel you’re stepping off something.
Q. What technology solutions are incorporated into the apartments?
Angus: All apartments come connected to the NBN, but residents can choose their own provider. There are TV/ Aerial points in the living area and bedrooms and ducted reverse cycle air conditioning.
We also have a 24-hour personal emergency response system (PERS) embedded into every apartment, as Sharon mentioned. This operates everywhere in the village so residents can quickly get the help they need.
Sharon: There are also smart TVs in the common areas and a cinema. Technology solutions are designed to help residents stay connected and access health services, as well as be energy efficient.
Q. Can you talk us through the sustainability features of the apartments?
Angus: We’ve deliberately incorporated sustainable and environmental standards to keep energy and consumption costs at a minimum and reduce greenhouse emissions. The taps and appliances are energy efficient and save water, and all appliances are top-of-the range.
With communal hot water and air conditioning, residents only pay for what they use. The building also has natural cross-ventilation – larger eaves provide shade rather than relying on a manufactured cooling system. We also chose glass which filters out more heat and sunlight.
We take a very serious approach to sustainability and RetireAustralia is one of the first retirement providers to adopt Green Star targets.
Q. And finally, what aspects of The Green do you secretly want in your own home?
Angus: I think the absolute must-have is a kitchen that’s designed so that things are high and it’s functional and accessible for an older user. That, and being well located, in a community of like-minded people.
Sharon: For me, it would be having a beautiful outlook. There are three different aspects from the apartments – one from Mt Coot-tha to the city, one from the city to the Gateway Bridge, and one overlooking the bushland at Tarragindi Recreation Reserve. They’re all stunning in their own way.
I also like the way The Green has been integrated into the community, with the bowls club on the doorstep and seventy per cent of the site dedicated to green space. If there’s something that maintains your smarts and your mobility as you age, it’s having interaction with a broad range of people.
I don’t want to be isolated as I get older. I think if you can see the outside from your apartment and are surrounded by a caring community, you won’t feel that way.
Angus: It’s a really vibrant area. There’s a kindergarten and Scouts next door and an arts collective nearby. It’s an active community, especially with the Tarragindi Bowls Club. It’s all these things that make up a really wonderful tapestry of the Tarragindi community.
For more information please call our friendly sales team on 1800 955 070.