Terracotta roof tiles from Monier Roofing were selected to create a layered, articulated roof line on the club houses at the Kensington Gardens retirement living estates.

Choice Retirement Communities, the developers of Kensington Gardens Albury and Shepparton have been creating award-winning 'lifestyle estates' designed to provide a harmonious social destination for the over-50s in a secure uplifting community-based environment.

Architect Paul Bankier explains that the centrepiece of both developments is the 4.5-million-dollar multi-purpose 'community facilities building', affectionately known as the 'The Club House'. Designed as the social hub for residents occupying the 600-plus dwellings constructed within the two multi-hectare sites, the Club House has the opulence of a 5-star holiday resort.

Key elements of the 'community facilities building' include an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, cinema, 250-seat theatre, function room, restaurant, licensed bar and library. The final design covered an area of over 2000m², and one of the key design elements that needed particular attention was the expansive roof line that would be visible from every aspect of the multi-hectare site.

Col Ward, project manager for Choice Retirement Communities recalled that a simple solution from a construction perspective would have been to design a single hipped roof spanning the entire length of the building, given the 90-metre roof line and a rafter length of up to 18 metres.

However, the design team headed by Paul Bankier had a greater vision in mind, resulting in a roof design that combined a variety of hip and gable treatments to create a layered, articulated roof line reflecting the diversity of the facility’s multipurpose interior while delivering a roof that was visually appealing and sympathetic to the surrounding built environment.

Choosing an appropriate roofing material was the next challenge. Nouveau terracotta roof tiles from CSR Roofing's Wunderlich range were the obvious choice as they offered the structural integrity, good looks and product longevity sought by the developers.

According to Col Ward, the Nouveau terracotta tiles were selected for a number of reasons including their modern, clean lines and deep glazed finish providing a sophisticated look; and the structural and colour guarantee reducing future maintenance costs and offering long term benefit for residents.

Both the Albury and Shepparton 'community facilities buildings' were completed on time. Feedback from current residents indicate that the first-class facilities provided by Choice Retirement Communities at the two developments have proven to be an enormous success, delivering on a promise that has set a new standard in retirement living.