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New generation

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Forget the traditional view of a retirement village. The architecture of this resort pushes the boundaries to create a modern amenity designed to meet the expectations of today's trend-setting baby-boomers

New generation


It is probably fair to say baby-boomers were never going to age gracefully. As a new generation heads for retirement, they are bringing with them a whole new attitude and a whole new set of expectations on how and where they wish to live.

Vision Senior Living has meet this challenge head on. The company is developing retirement resorts, rather than villages, and has commissioned Chow:Hillto design facilities that challenge preconceived notions of what a retirement village should look like.

The latest project from Chow:Hill is The Pavilion, a communal building that is, both figuratively and literally, the centrepiece of the Forest Lake Gardens retirement resort in Hamilton.

Architect Anthony Flannery says Chow:Hill has worked closely with Vision Senior Living on the design of the entire complex. For The Pavilion, the team chose to reinforce the modern architectural principles evident throughout the resort.

"Just because we are designing for the elderly, it doesn't mean a building has to be boring," he says. "We veered right away from a traditional, staid approach. This is an extremely modern building, with a lot of steel, glass blocks and glazing.


The Pavilion, which has a sculptural, triangular form and a roof that cantilevers to a peak, was always intended to make a strong architectural statement.

"In a way, it performs a role similar to a church in a traditional village," says Flannery. "There is an expectation that such a focal point for the community will be different, and will be striking."

But despite its contemporary edge, facilities for the elderly have not been compromised, says Flannery.

The Pavilion interior is similar to an upmarket hotel foyer – it accommodates a lounge, restaurant, café, bar, kitchen and administrative offices. There is also a swimming pool, spa and gym.

For more details, contact Chow:Hill, PO Box 23-593, Papatoetoe, Auckland, phone (09) 277 8260, fax (09) 277 8261. Email: .

First published date: 07 June 2005

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