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Retirement villages are now reflecting the dreams and expectations of a whole new generation, says Chow:Hill

With attitude

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As the baby-boomer generation heads towards retirement, it is exerting a strong influence on the design of retirement villages. Along with more adventurous architecture, the market is demanding flexible living spaces to suit changing needs and circumstances.

Chow:Hill has designed several retirement villages that reflect these expectations, the most recent project being the Papamoa Beach Gardens developed by Vision Senior Living.

Architect Anthony Flannery says stage one of this project, just completed, acknowledges a more youthful and energetic demographic.

"It's a market that shuns conservatism," he says. "Baby-boomers are much more interested in exploring new ideas and new ways of living. Many people buying into a retirement village are still running consultancies and working from home."

For this reason, Papamoa Beach Gardens includes two-storey apartments with an office or guest suite on the upper level. Alternatively, this space, which overlooks the double-height living area, could be used as a hobbies room.

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Flannery says the contemporary design of the units was inspired by modern bach architecture and the desire to fulfil the dream that many people have of retiring to a place by the sea.

"For this reason we have kept the architecture very simple and light, and used restrained materials, including off-white render, stained cedar timber and aluminium cladding. Bleached timber elements in the landscaping also evoke the feel of a beach resort."

Stage two of the project, due to be completed shortly, includes an ultramodern communal building and extensive lagoon landscaping.

For details, contact Chow:Hill, PO Box 109-169, Newmarket, Auckland, phone (09) 522 6460, fax (09) 522 6461. Website:www.chowhill.co.nz .

First published date: 13 February 2006

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