Bridget Basham

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Bridget Basham, who is currently studying at The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, entered the Architects for Health’s First Student Health Design Award (2007) with the following submission. For contact please email:

Inventia Nursing Home, Inverloch, Australia

Inverloch is an archetypal, Australian coastal town. The community’s largest threat is a physical invasion from retirees. These new dwellers inhabit the town’s coastal parcels, pushing locals into a microcosm of suburban sprawl. The coexistence of these two physically separate inhabitants, contribute to a cancerous-like growth. Inventia Nursing Home tries to address some of the issues surrounding the collision between:

  1. A stagnate local economy – producing a mass-exodus of young adults;
  2. An increasingly isolated elderly population – who after being lured by developers are not appropriately accommodated in the stages between retirement and high-care assisted living.

Inventia responds by:

  1. Creating a publicly accessible park with strong pedestrian links into one of Inverloch’s existing residential developments;
  2. Promoting commercial/ social facilities outside the town’s centre, supporting clubs, tourism, employment and conviviality;
  3. Providing shared assisted-living to Inverloch’s ageing population, helping to maintain integration/ independence within the community.

Inventia is wedged between Inverloch’s town centre and the industrial estate; between northerly residential sprawl and the Bass Coast Highway, beyond all of which is the fertile South Gippsland pastoral landscape. These contextual adjacencies promoted diversification of the nursing home’s traditional programmatic requirements, helping to explore the tension between the Institution and the Individual.

  1. The site is thought of as a thoroughfare site, henceforth promoting use by neighbors;
  2. Native vegetation to the west is maintained, creating a buffer to the industrial estate;
  3. Inventia is sheltered from the Highway via a tilted, which from within the park, echoes the green, undulating landscape typical of the South Gippsland;
  4. The laundry/ maintenance facilities have been re-located within the site’s adjacent industrial estate;
  5. Assisted-living share-accommodation has been integrated within the neighboring residential fabric and
  6. A lawn bowls green was dispersed over the site.

Three sheltered cloisters form the heart of Inventia. These house residents with the highest care needs. The formation of the cloisters grew from a series of early models/ research/ seminars that explored the potential of the service corridor as a place of meeting, with particular attention paid to the specific needs of dementia residents. Colour, texture, light, vegetation and animals play a vital role in humanizing, orientating and stimulating residents. Each cloister was conceived as a large thoroughfare room where internal arrangement is dictated by both efficient/ meandering circulation and views into the park. The cloisters are comprised of autonomous residential units/ nominal facilities stringed together by a translucent skin, housed under a Big Roof. Formally echoing buildings within the industrial estate/ sheds of the surrounding dairy farms; the cloisters aim to express the tension that exists between the Institution and the Individual.

The Architects for Health
First Student Health Design Award
was sponsored by



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