Wattle Apartments by Churches of Christ in Queensland

Design Feature
Type of Project
Structure Plan
State
Queensland
Location
Urban

Completed in January 2017, Wattle Apartments provide 40 modern, purposefully designed, low maintenance homes for seniors who are under-occupying public housing family homes. Located in Acacia Ridge, Wattle Apartments is the third housing project to join Churches of Christ in Queensland’s (CofCQ) integrated community model where community housing, retirement living, residential aged care and community care services are co-located alongside other health and integrated facilities in the one location.

CofCQ’s innovative integrated community model enables residents to age in place with freedom, independence, privacy, dignity and security. The $15.6 million housing development, delivered in partnership with the Queensland Government, provides a practical solution to the issue of public housing not meeting the current and future needs of seniors.

Putting community first

To ensure support and acceptance of the project, Churches of Christ Housing Services (CofCHS) engaged with prospective tenants, the wider community and the existing Churches of Christ Care Brig-O-Doon retirement village and aged care service. Furthermore, CofCHS held several information sessions with local prospective residents to assess their housing needs and willingness to voluntarily transition from their long-term homes. CofCHS invited guest speakers to advise about downsizing and provide tips to support residents with the moving process.  Occupational therapists also provided input, contributing to the effective internal design of the apartments.

Apartment interior
Apartment interior

An important consideration was for eligible seniors living in the Inala Housing Service Centre catchment area to be given first preference to transition to Wattle Apartments. The benefit to the transitioning residents was being able to remain connected to the community, friends, family and the services they currently access.

Churches of Christ in Queensland redefines the later years by providing an integrated model for housing that supports them as they grow older. The project features a range of shared communal spaces and outdoor recreational areas including a community garden, communal clothes drying area, off leash dog park, community centre, mobility scooter parking and charging bays, communal barbeque area and planter boxes. This co-location of community facilities and access to these shared spaces help promote a strong sense of place amongst the residents, and additionally fosters opportunities for physical activity, social engagement and interaction.

The apartments provide access and proximity to green space
The apartments provide access and proximity to green space

Churches of Christ Housing Services presented a Building Housing Options report to the Queensland Government, which was developed in collaboration with colleagues at Brisbane Housing Company. This valuable piece of research helps build on experience in providing modern, purpose-built housing for downsizing public housing tenants. This research will contribute significantly to the evidence base regarding the housing needs of older Queenslanders.

Project Team

  • Churches of Christ in Queensland (Churches of Christ Housing Services)
  • Department of Housing and Public Works (Queensland Government)
  • Gatehouse architects and Ryall Smyth architects (Architect)
  • National Construction Management (Construction)
  • Concept Project Management (Project Manager)
  • McLean Consult (Certification)
  • Empire Engineering (Structural)
  • MRP (Hydraulics)
  • Flanagan Consulting (Civil)
  • I – Fire Engineers Pty Ltd (Fire)
  • Ashburner Francis (Mechanical)
  • Seed Landscape Design (Landscape Architect)
  • TD Planning (Town Planner)

Project Cost 

$15.6 Million

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