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Collie Riverview Residences

KPA Architects are honoured to be designing the Collie Riverview Residences. These carefully designed Retirement Living Homes are being built to support the people of Collie, their families and the people of the surrounding regions.

KPA were granted Development Approval from the Shire of Collie in March 2022 to go ahead with the construction of these homes. Since then, we have been working hard to prepare to get on site. The project continues to proceed nicely and we are excited and hopeful for the next steps.  

This design will meet the highest standards, outlined under Platinum Livable Housing Standards. This will enable residents to have an increased level of choice and control in a contemporary residential living environment specially designed for the occupants.

KPA Architects Partnering with Brightwater Care Group on New Huntington’s Disease Village

KPA Architects are honoured to be selected by the Brightwater Care Group to design housing for people with Huntington’s disease, in the Perth suburb Piara Waters.

The project is the first specialist disability accommodation (SDA) to be purpose-built to support people with Huntington’s disease.

KPA Director, Todd Paterson said the village design will meet the highest standards set by the NDIS of High Physical Support enabling an increased level of choice and control in a contemporary residential living environment specially designed for the occupants.

“This includes adaptive designs to meet the changing needs of people with Huntington’s disease; and assistive technologies to improve the wellness of residents, staff and visitors

“The individual homes will be designed to blend into the neighbouring streetscape as well as offering community living.

“There is mix of flexible indoor and outdoor living areas for residents to live their lives, socialise with each other as well as their family and friends.

“Research shows that design that connect communities with nature through biophilic design can improve the overall wellbeing of people with Huntington’s disease.

“We are in the early planning and community consultation stages and hope to commence building in the middle of 2022”. 

Staff Interview – Clare Paterson

For the ninth of a series of short interviews with KPA team members, to help you get to know us all a bit better, Hayley Green (HG) interviewed Clare Paterson (CP).

Clare is a Designer and Draftsperson at KPA and has been part of the KPA team since 2002. She has a flair for interior design and is our expert in LHA (Livable Housing Australia) and SDA (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Design.

HG:  As a professional woman, a mother and wife, what would you say is the biggest challenge women face in Australia in 2021 / 2022 and what would you suggest women can do to help overcome this challenge?

CP: For me, I think that work life balance is still a huge challenge for many women. I think women feel the need to constantly be present at work to ensure that nothing slips, deadlines are met and that you feel you are progressing in your career. That can become tricky when you add a family and then must not only consider your commitments and schedules but also those of a partner and child/children (in my case 3 children).

I would suggest that women remember to take time for themselves (even a walk at lunch is a great start), book holidays and time off with your family, make sure you attend those important events in your kids lives and find a mentor that you respect that can help give you insights and advice.

I am extremely grateful to work in a place like KPA where flexibility and work life balance are already a part of the culture of the company. 

HG: What advice would you give young woman contemplating working in the architecture / construction industry?

CP: I think that we have come a long way in how society see women in the Architecture and Construction industry. A lot of hard work has been done to change people’s mindsets about stereotypes. They are many women in the industry that are very good at what they do and make a difference in the field on a daily basis.

My advice is to listen and learn from as many people as possible, be confident and take on responsibilities. If you think you have something to add, join the growing role of women in the industry!

TP: What one thing do you look forward to post COVID-19 restrictions?

CP: I cannot wait to travel again and take my kids on family trips to a few places that we are yet to visit with them. On previous trips I have fallen in love with places like Hoi An and Singapore and would love to be able to share those places with my children. My kids are also pretty keen for a trip to Lego Land!

Innovation Key to New Aged Care Design Standards

Enabling innovation in the delivery of aged care services should guide the proposed new aged care design standards in Australia. That was a key message in KPA Architects submission to the federal government on the preparation of the new standards.

Improved aged care design standards was a central recommendation of the recent Royal Commission. However, KPA cautioned the authorities to avoid being over-prescriptive in the new design standards.

KPA Director, Todd Paterson said a performance-based approach in the new aged care design standards is preferred to a tick-box approach.

“A system that informs the industry what outcomes are desired from a facility will encourage greater innovation and ultimately, improved delivery of aged care services.

“A performance-based approach will also enable owners of existing facilities to transition more readily to new design standards”.

The new design standards are expected to cover three broad elements:

  • the role of accessibility, inclusiveness and dementia-friendly design
  • the role of smaller group home models and existing larger scale facilities, and
  • appropriate safety features, including infection protection and control and ventilation requirements.

More information about the new aged care design standards is available at:
New residential aged care design standards – Australian Government Department of Health – Citizen Space

Image: Opal HealthCare, Treeby Parklands Care Community by KPA Architects
Image Credit: Opal HealthCare

Staff Interview – Hayley Green

For the eighth of a series of short interviews with KPA team members, to help you get to know us all a bit better, Todd Paterson (TP) interviewed Hayley Green (HG).

Hayley is KPA’s Bookkeeper and has been part of the KPA team since 2007. She is the organiser of our social events, keeps everyone on task and is always there to lend a hand. She is an avid gardener, putting her green thumb to good use through permaculture and organic gardening.

TP:  When did you start at KPA (Ken Paterson Architects) and what was your initial role that you started in? How has that evolved over the years?

HG: I commenced employment with KPA in 2007, where I took on varying roles including receptionist, office administrator and personal assistant to Ken Paterson.  In 2010 I transitioned into financial management responsibilities. I feel grateful for the many opportunities KPA have provided and enjoy my time working with Ken Paterson and later, Todd Paterson.

TP: Exploring new talents outside of work is an area of interest to you. Let us know some skillsets or interests that you have acquired since working at KPA.

HG: After the birth of our daughter, we moved to a few acres in the Perth Hills, where I studied Permaculture Design and put these new skills to practical use. With that came many new skills such as animal husbandry (bees, chickens, ducks, geese, and ponies), worms and soil health, and the challenges of growing fruit trees and vegetables, regenerative agriculture and biodynamic gardening. It is a relaxing hobby and lovely way to spend time in nature with endless lessons, trial and error being a valuable teacher.

TP: You are a keen traveller and love a good road trip. What are your top three places to visit within Western Australia?

HG: The family have enjoyed several trips up the coast of Western Australia in an old coaster bus enjoying the beauty of Broome’s Cable Beach. However nowadays, we stay closer to home.

My top 3 WA holiday destinations are:

  1. The South West to the secluded Cosy Corner (between Denmark and Albany in the South West),
  2. The Busselton-Margaret River region, enjoying the proximity and beautiful beaches, and
  3. Broome’s Cable Beach

‘Small Household’ Model Favoured by Aged Care Royal Commission

Amongst the many recommendations in the final report of the Aged Care Royal Commission are two important proposals for the design of aged care accommodation.  The Commissioners recommended the Government should guide the design of the best and most appropriate residential aged care accommodation by:

  • Developing National Aged Care Design Principles and Guidelines on accessible and dementia friendly design capable of application to ‘small household’ models of accommodation and respite centres; and
  • Introducing capital grants for new work that complies with the guidelines to be allocated on a needs basis.

It is also proposed that the National Construction Code will reflect accessible and dementia-friendly design standards for new residential aged care buildings.

Small household model

So, what does ‘small household’ models of accommodation…mean? It means a small village of approximately maximum 60 senior residents living with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other age-related comorbidities in small separate households designed to imitate the residents’ own experience of home.

The separate households consist of somewhere between 8-12 residents living in a home-like environment with a separate kitchen, intimate dining, small scale living spaces, with person-centred care. The kitchens and dining spaces form the hearth of the home, visible from residents’ bedrooms. There are smaller, intimate family spaces, outside of bedrooms for families or friends to meet with their loved ones and spend quality time with them. There is direct access to outdoor spaces, and the outdoors is brought indoors through thoughtfully designed, accessible landscaping.

Studies have shown that designing for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, is best achieved by coupling efficient designs for the delivery of services together with more subtle human aspects reminiscent of ‘home’.  When done well, this helps reduce agitation and distress.

Two good local examples of the small household model are Maurice Zeffert Homes in Dianella and Araluen House at Brightwater The Village.

Maurice Zeffert Home is a dedicated Jewish aged care home caring for residents within 3 distinct houses, each with differing levels of care to suit the residents needs and requirements. It is a low scale development of one storey and is neatly nestled within the surrounding neighbourhood of Dianella. Although the houses are separated, they are connected through common corridors which allow staff to move through the site and allow some residents to flow between the different homes.

Araluen House at Brightwater The Village is an innovative Specialist Dementia Care Program and model for Brightwater and is proving to be a success for residents. The small house model enables residents with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, feel comfortable within the houses, without being overwhelmed by large spaces, lots of staff, residents and daily maintenance activities surrounding them. Gardens with wandering paths are accessible from communal areas, giving residents the choice to be social or to be alone. The program and housing model has been so successful, that is has encouraged residents to return to eating, drinking and sleeping at night. It is a great example of how the built environment of a small house model combined with a specialist care program can work together to improve the lives of residents with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. You can read more about this housing model and care program here: https://brightwatergroup.com/residential-aged-care/specialist-dementia-care-program/.

Staff Interview – Todd Paterson

For the seventh of a series of short interviews with KPA team members, to help you get to know us all a bit better, Lino Iacomella (LI) interviewed Todd Paterson (TP).

Todd is KPA’s Director and has been part of the KPA team since 1998. He is an aged care and disability design advocate and father of three children. On top of his busy schedule, Todd sits on numerous boards and design committees, volunteering his time and commitment to the wider community.

LI: How has KPA Architects adapted to the pandemic?

TP: Wow, good question. We have adapted in many ways by being nimble, flexible and pivoting our thought processes and approaches in this new age. For some projects we were already working on it was business as usual, for others we had to adapt to change quickly. This year in 2020, through great relationships with clients and builders, we completed the construction of Treeby Parklands Community Care for Opal HealthCare, ALDI Refresh comprising of 18 store refurbishments, Rocky Bay Girrawheen SDA housing and Manoah Homes Aged Care additions and alterations.

At the end of March 2020, it became evident the future landscape of working was going to be very different. Flexibility is already part of the fabric and culture of KPA Architects and I had previously discussed this when invited to do so by the Australian Institute of Architects WA Chapter for a CPD event in 2019. A fully flexible workforce was an idea we discussed, looking at a timeline of 5 -10 years of when this may occur. Low and behold COVID-19 fast tracked that time frame. However, preparation was key and we were certainly prepared. At that event I also discussed the role of being flexible for a range of ages, cultures and stages of life. This was evident towards the end of 2019 and throughout 2020 where three of our staff were at various stages of parental leave, with three beautiful babies having entered the world. Throughout the year we have had many meetings, Zoom and MS Teams videoconferences where those babies, other children, siblings and pets have been present. It brings great joy and a refreshingly different mood to meetings.

LI: Has COVID-19 changed your approach to building design?

TP: We have had some really interesting discussions with our clients this year as to how Architecture will be affected going forward. We expect aged care design will have more of an emphasis on quality, small home models of care, whilst still being able to provide effective levels of staffing to our ageing relatives. We believe this will also be further enhanced by recommendations through the Aged Care Royal Commission.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) exemplifies this small house model of care in the community. The aged care sector can learn a lot from this model of housing in order to create enabling environments, whilst having the intimate accommodation we all crave. KPA has worked on many SDA projects over the last 12 months and this will continue to be an area where we will continue to research and apply our learnings for many years.

We haven’t been able to undertake site tours to other projects and developments this year, which for any Architect, is always a source of inspiration and refreshing thoughts. However, what we have lacked in visiting other buildings, getting back to nature and rediscovering our beautiful state of Western Australia has been tremendous. At the height of lockdown, I rediscovered and introduced my children to the local national park where I grew up living next to in Kalamunda. Getting back to nature is a valuable, calming resource that is essential to a well-balanced life.

LI: What trends are you seeing from building owners and developers looking to invest in Western Australia as the economy recovers in 2021?

TP: Whenever a recession hits, the basics of life come to the fore. Health, shelter, water, food, and as we all discovered this time – toilet paper. So what we saw during the pandemic was those basic survival requirements were protected as much as possible to ensure we had access to them. Medical facilities, pharmacies, hospitals and aged care facilities were given priority to ensure they had all the resources required to protect the population. Housing was given funding injections in a two-fold approach at both federal and state government levels to help stimulate the economy and ensure people remained in work with sufficient roofs over our heads. Water kept flowing off supermarket shelves and the food economy went from being a potentially crippled dine-in experience to a frenzy of take away experiences. Supermarkets were key to the food supply chain and access to these were maintained throughout. From discussions with shopping centre operators and retail clients we discovered there were more frequent, yet shorter trips to supermarkets. This enables people to tap into the social interaction they crave.

As mentioned before, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) has been a hot topic this year and will continue to be so. We are helping owners and investors realise the potential to enable people to live in their communities and we have the expert knowledge required to guide them through this process. I am excited to announce that we have done that by launching a new business this year called Habilitas. Watch this space in the new year for more details.

LI: If you could take a group of architecture students on a tour of Perth to three places, where would the first three stops be?

TP: Stop 1 – Kings Park at dawn.

I have experienced many sunrises at Kings Park by going for early morning walks. Start in the dark and walk from South Perth, near Millers Pool, over the Narrows Bridge. Cross over Mounts Bay Road and walk to what is known as the Kokoda Track (try not to trip over!). Arrive at the top of the hill near the cenotaph and sit down near the eternal flame at the war memorial. Sit quietly and enjoy the calm that rests over the city of Perth, looking east beyond the hills of Perth. Then discover the amazing acoustics of the whispering wall, search for the name of the Architect who designed the war memorial (inscribed on the whispering wall) and discuss his role in World War One and his career as an Architect.

Stop 2 – Koh-I-Noor Contemporary Care, Wembley for lunch and a dance.

Here we will discover how contemporary aged care can nestle into the suburban street and be a part of the community. After taking a tour around, we’ll sit and sketch out some ideas that enable people to live as independently as possible in a caring environment. We’ll discuss what we have sketched with senior management and residents to get their thoughts on what we have learnt and discuss what we can do better in the future. We’ll enjoy lunch with the residents and introduce KPA’s very own John Loreck to play music, sing a song and have a dance with residents.

Last stop – Kalamunda.

This is the suburb I grew up in and has influenced me so much. A village set amongst the trees, with main streets full of activity and an eclectic, artistic bunch of people. Nature plays a strong role in how we live and this is evident in the architecture of this place. There are many unacknowledged examples of great Architectural work in and around Kalamunda, from historical buildings through to modern, climate responsive houses. A great way to finish the tour will be a sunset picnic overlooking Perth on the Zig Zag drive.

Retail Centres After COVID – Designing for Local Convenience

More frequent and shorter visits to local retail centres is the new ‘shopping’ normal.  That is the thinking we are applying to new design work after reviewing industry feedback.  What is most apparent from visiting centres is the even spread of shopper numbers over the course of a day and week with more people working from home.  This is particularly noticeable in neighbourhood centres that offer high levels of convenience.  And in areas with travel distance restrictions, where neighbourhood centres have become a lifeline, creating a safe and efficient environment has become a necessity.

In our second post on retail centres after COVID we focus on design factors that enhance local shopping convenience.  The key factors are centre attraction, accessibility, essential offerings, local connectivity and being in-tune with the evolving situation. 

Customers are more likely to return, possibly daily in this environment, if a centre makes a noticeable effort to be visually inviting and easy to navigate by car and foot (or accessibility aid) and this begins outside the centre.   It is no longer enough to maximise parking visibility or car bay availability with highly efficient parking layouts.   Site entries must be logical and convenient, with enablement of good traffic flow assisted by appropriate aisle widths and comfortable bay sizes.   In order to garner local customer loyalty car parking environments must also be safe for pedestrians, provide good accessibility, be free from trolleys and other encumbrances, and provide comfort through shade/greening.   The architectural legibility of the building and a clear signage strategy, particularly around entry points, can impact upon whether patrons enter the centre feeling relaxed, frustrated, confused or inconvenienced.

Once inside the centre the customer must be confident that a range of essential services are readily available, such as grocery options and the centre’s health-related offerings, such as pharmacies and wellness outlets.  Again, wayfinding and signage strategies play a part, as do a coherent mall design and low encroachment along direct view paths.  Appropriate space to move within the mall has never been more important.  Where a multitude of kiosks, dining zones, tenancy outgos and displays once competed with patrons for coveted square meterage on the terrazzo, we will likely see increased free volume return to the mall to allow both comfort and efficiency for visitors.

Also important is the centre’s connection with the local community. If the centre is nestled amongst retirement and aged-care facilities the local community will expect their COVID concerns will be addressed.  In this instance the importance of the above-mentioned design features increases, but so too does creating a safe environment for community interaction in the event of restrictions.  A wave to a neighbour during an essential shopping trip or a brief conversation at an appropriate physical distance may improve mental health outcomes for those most vulnerable in our communities.  Good design will also address anxiety levels around centre cleanliness and adherence to state COVID regulations without the clinical look.

Treeby Parklands Officially Opens

Treeby Parklands Care Community, part of the Opal family, celebrated the opening of their new home on Thursday 10 September 2020.

We are proud to be involved in the architectural and interior design of this new care home and see it come together with the furniture selections and styling. It was a great team effort with Opal Aged Care, Perkins Builders, Johnstaff and the design team, especially in these challenging times, and we are pleased to be part of this wonderful team.  

The first residents moved in today, Monday 14 September, and we hope they enjoy living in their new home.

KPA Architects Associate Sally Jones, Director Todd Paterson and Draftsperson Clare Paterson are photographed with Senior Development Manager, Mark Lederer, from Opal Aged Care (left to right).

To read more about this project, click on the links below:


Lounge Area
Lounge Area

Peter Van Geloven Awarded National Medal

KPA Architects are honoured to announce our Documentation Manager, Peter Van Geloven, received The National Medal for Service through the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, after 19 years of voluntary Fire and Rescue services.

‘The National Medal recognises long and diligent service by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in enforcement of the law or in times of emergency  or natural disaster. This includes government organisations such as ambulance, correctional, emergency, fire and police forces, and voluntary organisations such as lifesaving or search and rescue group.’

The Governor-General awards the National Medal and nominations are made by the Chief Officer of the nominee’s organisation.

Congratulations Peter! Thank you for providing support and care for others in emergencies. Very selfless and well deserved.

To find out more about the National Medal, click on the link below:


Peter also has volunteered for Surf Life Saving WA for 20 plus years.