Lime Street, East Perth

Health and aged care, Mixed-use, Multi-residential

  • Project

    Facility combining crisis care, transitional care, long term accommodation, aged care (dementia specific), and offices for mental health and related service providers.

  • Services

    Full architectural services

  • Location

    East Perth, WA

  • Clients

    Department of Housing, Department of Health and Aging, St Bartholomew’s House

  • Date


Charitable organisation St. Bartholomew’s House had identified that as homeless clients graduated from crisis care, to transitional care, to long term accommodation, they were forced to move into different facilities, making it difficult to provide continuity of care and develop an ongoing sense of community. The brief sought to combine all these forms of care, along with mental health service providers, in the same facility, in such a way that clients and carers could build more lasting and meaningful relationships.

The design team worked closely with St. Bartholomew’s to understand the client’s culture and needs, and the team travelled extensively to visit single-usage social housing projects around Australia. The result is an innovative $30m building that uses sunlight, a complex mixture of private and shared spaces, and a rich and unified design theme to meet the needs of both residents and staff, and create safer connections to the outside world.

The design response is a split tower with secure crisis care to the south and a more open courtyard scheme to the north. An internal open-ended ‘street’ allows for a pedestrian thoroughfare that connects the site laterally. Minimal setback to the Lime Street façade places the more public services – a cafe, hairdresser and podiatrist – along the street.

The project is oriented around privacy and protection for the residents. Two roof gardens allow for multiple sight vantages, both internally, and externally to the surrounding neighbourhood. Strategically placed and designed alcoves, colours and domestic references are scattered throughout communal spaces to foster a sense of identity and ownership. As the residents make the external passageways and roof gardens their own, the spaces will change and grow continuously and the way residents interact with them will strengthen. This fosters maximum social interaction among residents and is the catalyst for a community atmosphere.

Materials are used to create a domestic-scale feel. The verticality and mass of the project against the flat and low-lying surroundings is broken up through a series of rhythmic, appropriately scaled and referenced façade treatments to all sides of the building.

Awards (to Formworks Architecture)
2013 Australian Institute of Architects Awards / WA Chapter
– Harold Krantz Award for Multiple Housing
2013 Urban Development Institute of Australia Awards / WA Chapter
– President’s Award
– Sustainable Development Award