This facility provides a final home for people with “end-stage Renal Disease”- allowing them to stay close to their family and community while receiving Hemodialysis for 2.5-4.5 hours, 3 times a week. It is expected that most people will only live for about 3 years making this facility a type of palliative care facility- but without the formal medical spaces.
Prior to the establishment of this accommodation facility and the associated “Renal Chairs” in the nearby Hospital,people had the choice of moving 2,500 km to Perth – and thus being separated from their family and community or simply staying at their community and dying. Sadly, the trauma of being separated from their kin led many to choose the stay and die option.
The facility consists of 13 rooms for residents, distributed over 6 small “houses” accommodating 19 people. Each room is a 1 or 2 bedroom space, with a wheelchair accessible ensuite, tea preparation bench and insect screened verandah. The residents’ meals and cleaning of linen are performed by the facility staff in the communal amenity building. The houses are provided with a front porch that allows for public engagement, and the rear verandah provides a more private area, that is secured from insects and intruders at night.
The site has been planned to reflect the 5 major language groups in town; with the site planning, paths and landscape species selection referencing “bush tucker”, medicine and iconic plants from their homelands.Culturally sustainable design features include: “Cultural Surveillance”- the need for Aboriginal people to observe the movement of people through the landscape, multiple paths of travel to support “avoidance” relationships, view corridors into the landscape, language specific landscape species selection, support for outdoor cooking and fire use, and addressing mortuary practices.
The amenity building partially screens the houses from the main street providing access control, kitchen, staff and community laundry facilities, communal dining and activity spaces, offices and meeting rooms, and 2 staff accommodation units. Many of these residents are Elders in the community and our client group required a place of dignity that people could come and interact with their family members. Due to the nature of the Renal disease they have very low energy levels and their need to dialyse regularly, the residents capacity for trips back to their community and homelands is limited- hence the need for the centre to welcome visitors.
Due to the remote location and limited access to skilled trades the construction is concrete slab on ground, with steel frames, Color bond Steel and painted fibre cement cladding. Technologies are kept as simple as possible.These humble materials are shaped to respond to the forms of a cottage or a civic building, with their simple forms being articulated by a soaring roof- with increased volume to reduce radiant heat loads and to capture cooling winds during favourable seasons. When the weather becomes harsh people can move inside to spaces cooled by DX Air Conditioner systems.
Material used :
1. Painting- Dulux Enviro
2. Roofing and Cladding- Bluescope Color bond
3. Screens- Ampelite Webglas GC