Today is International Women’s Day! This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge ‘because from challenge comes change’. To celebrate and acknowledge the day we talked to Pacific Environments Architect Lyn Maltby.
With an architectural career spanning over 30 years, Lyn has experienced her fair share of challenges, but it’s the Retirement sector that has inspired her to create change. Lyn explains; "Around 20 years ago I was researching residential care options for my mother and was suddenly confronted by the fact that often people don’t get a choice in whether they need to move to a care home or retirement village, and that as an Architect I could make a direct contribution to help enhance the quality of life of our elderly.”
Being able to experience the aged care environment through her mother’s eyes gave Lyn insight to where improvements could be made. A major consideration when designing for the elderly is ensuring there are plenty of opportunities for social connection and interaction.
The Palm Grove Retirement Village project is a key example where Lyn and her design team were able to foster a sense of community amongst residents.
Lyn explains "connecting to the local town and community via active street frontages and ensuring plenty of diversity across floor plans to encourage social interaction was an essential element of the buildings design. This smaller apartment style village is differentiated from other villages by it’s use of colour and architectural style, which is inspired by the beachside location. Residents are often seen enjoying their morning coffee in the café. The buildings interconnected areas create smaller more intimate human scale spaces which feel welcoming even to small groups of residents."
As an aging population we need to challenge our expectations of retirement living and aged care services; and help shine a light on architects like Lyn, who are rising to the challenge and creating positive change.