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Benevolent Living Rockhampton

Developer : Benevolent Living
Main Construction Company : Hutchinson Builders
Architect : Deike Richards
Project Manager : Steele Wrobel
Engineer : Edge Consulting Engineers
Construction Value : $47 million
Benevolent Living Rockhampton comprises two buildings; ‘The Terraces’, a 4-storey aged care building with one-bedroom apartments and private suites, and ‘Benevolent on West’, a 5-storey boutique retirement village with 40 two and three-bedroom apartments and basement parking. The project includes ‘The Town Hub Precinct’, offering amenities such as a chapel, theatre, coffee shop, gym, day spa, and learning hub.

Founded in 1866, Benevolent Living is a regional stand-alone provider in Central Queensland and is one of Australia’s oldest not-for-profit organisations.

Their mission was to transform their existing traditional residential aged care facility from a gated nursing home operating on a medical model into a vibrant and connected senior living community.

“Our vision was to inspire and enable people to live a happy life based on health, wellness, purpose and meaning. Not only is this the first vertical retirement village in Central Queensland, but Benevolent Living is also the first aged care provider in Australia with a working art gallery onsite that has a creative arts strategy that focuses on community connection and integration,” said Alison Moss, CEO of Benevolent Living.

Benevolent Living collaborated with architects to help redesign the master plan for the diversification and refurbishment of the current Benevolent Living site, with alleviating social isolation, loneliness, anxiety and depression in the elderly as the central focus.

Other key objectives of the re-design included increasing density on-site, diversifying revenue streams through retirement village accommodation and creating a beautiful inspiring community where people want to live, work and play. The result was a new masterplan that emphasised the importance of greenspace, filtering community engagement, holistic health and wellness and the arts.

The design features a fully functional art gallery and arts workshops, as well as other spaces for community events. A creative arts strategy was specifically developed for this site, and an Exhibition Programmer/Arts Coordinator was employed to activate the site and run programs.

Project works included the development of two multi-storey buildings and refurbishment of existing spaces within the Benevolent Living facilities. Building A consists of 36 residential care suites and apartments, and associated support spaces including lounge, dining, servery, and treatment spaces. Building B features 40 two- or three-bedroom units as well as communal spaces, including a kitchen, dining, library, lounge, bar, consult spaces, and gym.

“This is the largest project that Benevolent Living has committed to, with a total of $47 million spent across both Stages 1 and 2,” said Alison.

“This project presented some unique challenges due to the size and scale of the development within an operating aged care community. This project creates its own complex issues in terms of access, maneuverability, separation and ensuring that the construction works do not interrupt or significantly impact the residents,” said Alison.

Works commenced onsite in 2021 with Building A and in September 2022 for Building B. The works for Building B included some demolition and service relocation works prior to the basement works being undertaken and the slab being poured in November 2022.

Stage 1, which includes the residential care building, art gallery, coffee shop, art workshop and cinema/chapel, has been completed, with work on stage two now complete in April of 2024.

With over 35 subcontractors engaged on this project, the daily site attendance averaged around 70, reaching 350 during peak times.

Throughout its two-year construction programme, the project faced numerous challenges, specifically, COVID and working within the grounds and alongside a high-risk health setting, coordinating works and trades within a live facility whilst minimising the impact on the facility operators and its residents, and the flow on effects of COVID within building industry such as significant price rises.

For more information contact Benevolent Living, phone 07 4837 0300, email, website