ageing architecture

The clients were a couple who were looking to maintain their freedom and independence in retirement. Grand Pavilion is a built solution; a “shed” in the rear yard to serve as a resort of privacy and independence. Meanwhile, a series of intermediate spaces were created between the existing house and the shed where the clients could come together and spend time with family and friends.

ageing architecture

“The owners of a typical-sized property in Hawthorn East came to us with a problem common to many retired couples: How do we benefit as a couple from both living together, while still maintaining our independence?” says architect Anthony Windust, director of Windust Architecture x Interiors.

“This question became the starting point for an in-depth analysis of senior couples, and contributed to our practice methodology of providing clients with a long term development and occupational strategy for their properties. This has been a common thread in a number of our works now.”

According to Windust, “ageing in place” has been proven to address social isolation, and is strongly linked to improved health and happiness for seniors.


“The Grand Pavilion is more than just a ‘granny flat’; it is a project that enables a continuing connection to people and place, and is a joy to inhabit,” says Windust.

Grand Pavilion is a small but flexible space. Fully glazed walls create a connection with the outside world, while a curved plan, flying eave and concrete breeze block wall combine to create spaces with a good flow of circulation and different levels of privacy and/or interaction.

ageing architecture

The west corner of the building houses the private bathroom, laundry and wardrobe spaces, while to the north is the study and external screen corridor, and to the east is a private courtyard that can be used for social activities. A bridge connects the pavilion to the external entertaining area of the main house.

The bricks used in the fascia were reclaimed from the paving where the pavilion now stands, and are the same bricks that were used in the main house.

One of the pavilion’s most striking features is its soft curves; an homage to the brick Federation planter at the front of the house, with the circle shape in its design symbolising longevity.

“The project is further enlivened by our interior design and styling finesse, which combines skilled use of light, materiality, texture and colour to create generous, efficient and flexible spaces,” says Windust.

ageing architecture


Cross-ventilation, double glazing, thorough insulation and passive solar design are some of the features that make Grand Pavilion a low energy building. The building is also inherently sustainable due to its adaptability; it could function just as well as a space for a teenager, a home office/studio, a rumpus room, a guest room or an AirBnB space.