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Koh-I-Noor – A Contemporary Diamond

Koh-I-Noor Contemporary Aged Care (Koh-I-Noor) designed by KPA Architects (KPA) for the Spine and Limb Foundation, introduces a new level of connected living and service delivery to Western Australia.

KPA Architects Director Todd Paterson said the 80-bed aged care facility, which opened in March 2018 in Wembley, a leafy inner-western suburb of Perth, was designed to be different from the start.

The Koh I Noor diamond (Koh I Noor translates to ‘Mountain of light’ in Persian) is the centre of coronation Crowns worn by Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother.

“We developed the facility’s architectural design philosophy around this meaning by overlaying a sectional image of the Koh I Noor diamond over an aerial image of Perth city to create a ‘connection to landscape’ and ‘connection to community’. These themes also influenced the project at a holistic level including the built form, interior design, wayfinding and public artwork”, said Mr Paterson.

“The design approach of Koh I Noor was to create a home for residents that sits comfortably in the existing residential streetscape, and the facility has a look and feel of a home.

“An informal, friendly, easily comprehended floor plan helps create a homely ambience, unusual for a project of this size, which avoids the rigid and institutional nature typical of this building type.

“The facility is split over two levels and each floor is broken up into wings with a secure dementia wing located on the ground floor. Each wing is connected through large passage ways and communal areas, with attractive internalised courtyards which connect the wings inside the building to each other which in turn connects the building to the outside and surrounding community.

“The courtyards provide shaded areas for socialising, napping, gardening, games, activities and looking after pets. Glimpses and views to the outside from many internal common areas form pleasant external vistas, where the residents can feel part of the broader community and yet still be secure.

“Traditional nurse offices were replaced with ‘nurse nooks’ off common areas so staff and residents are always close to each other. Upstairs and close to the main lift is a dedicated family lounge to celebrate birthdays and other important family events and allows activity to extend onto the upper deck.

“Bedrooms are fitted with large windows, flooding the rooms with natural light and ventilation, with views to nature and landscaping.

“The interior colours, patterns and imagery were drawn from nearby natural landmarks like Perry Lakes and Bold Park, which provide a strong sense of place.

“We created and designed custom imagery artwork, each responding to its themed wing, to help residents identify where they are in the building and to help find their way around.

“KPA worked closely with the client to create this home and include unique ideas such as the nurse nooks, internalised courtyards, upper deck and wayfinding scheme.

“Listening to and interpreting the client’s ideas and collaboration were ongoing practices which lead to the outcome.

“With the end user at the forefront of everyone’s mind throughout the design process, the end user has benefited”, said Mr Paterson.

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