Wilsher Village is a multi-level housing development that aims to set a new standard for affordable, high-density housing for older people. The 4-storey apartment building, located on a previously vacant site in Henderson, provides 40 one-bedroom apartments and has achieved Homestar 7 Design and Built ratings, indicating its sustainability and energy efficiency.
RCP was engaged to manage the design, procurement, and delivery for Eke Panuku, the development arm of Auckland Council. This development is the first council pensioner housing project in over 20 years and addresses the growing need for high-quality housing for older Aucklanders as the population of older individuals is expected to double in the next 15 years.
The design of Wilsher Village takes into consideration the lifestyle requirements of older people and aims to meet the current and future needs of the Henderson community. It serves as a model for future developments catering to the elderly.
Environmental considerations identified during consultation with mana whenua were integrated into the design and construction. Measures were implemented to manage stormwater runoff, protect local birdlife through strategic planting, and limiting runoff into local streams using permeable concrete.
The building incorporates sustainable features such as rainwater recycling for toilet flushing and resident garden watering, double-glazed windows, a centralised domestic hot water system, and strict security and electronic monitoring features.
To ensure accessibility and mobility for older residents, a key consideration in the design, the building features centrally located disabled parking with ramps for easy access, a large wheelchair-friendly lift for universal accessibility, well-lit hallways with mobility in mind, and rest areas along hallways and pathways to encourage social interaction among residents.
Each unit is equipped with disabled toilets, mobility scooter parking and charging facilities, and level shower entries with wheelchair access. The design of kitchen and facility operations, including buttons, switches, and fittings, prioritises accessibility.
The development fosters resident interaction, communal activities, community accessibility, and the concept of "ageing in place," allowing older individuals to live independently for longer periods. It promotes social connectivity and a sense of community among residents.