Bolton Clarke reworks its Alma Road aged care complex

RSL Care RDNS Limited, which recently changed its operating name to Bolton Clarke, is moving to rework a substantial St Kilda development site for the purpose of an aged care complex.

Spanning 3,799sqm, 31-39 Alma Road did hold approval for a Plus Architecture-designed mid-rise building holding 135 apartments. Under recast plans, the East Melbourne office of global architecture firm Design Worldwide Partnership has rejigged the approved scheme into a part-four and part-six storey development containing 81 retirement living dwellings.

Bolton Clarke's Alma Road project joins Jewish Care's nearby Senior Living and Community Precinct at 619 St Kilda Road; both intend to deliver a substantial boost in retirement living capacity to the area.

Plus Architecture's defunct design and Jewish Care's nearby development

VCAT provided the original Plus Architecture scheme with approval on 21 June 2017. 

The most significant change to the approved development discussed above is the use. Instead of residential dwellings (apartments), the proposal seeks to use the land for a retirement village.

The subtle changes to built form and layouts compared to the approved development are necessary elements to respond to the function of the new use proposed. This includes the additional, enhanced communal areas throughout the building, ancillary uses on-site, and a food and drink premises open to the public as well as residents of the building.

Planning report: SJB

To that end communal space provided within 31-39 Alma Road has increased from 551sqm to 1,498sqm, whilst dwellings numbers have dropped considerably. Car spaces have also dropped from 170 to 109, resulting in expected traffic movements diminishing from 690 to 405 on a daily basis.

Alma Road perspective. Image: Design Worldwide Partnership

Design Worldwide Partnership is an irregular entrant into the Urban Melbourne Project Database. Their previous work includes the joint design of Rathdowne Place with Jackson Architecture, with the result an aged community vertical village.

31-39 Alma Road's increased provision of communal space has resulted in a novel elevated bowls green atop level 4. Additional elevated amenities include multiple terraces, a 'community sky room' and a vegetable garden.

The St Kilda project forms part of Bolton Clarke's push to double in size over the next five years in order to maintain market share in the expanding aged care and retirement living sector.

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