The Terraces Care Facility

Terraces Aged Care Frontage
Terraces Aged Care Frontage

Varsity Lakes, Queensland, Australia

This facility provides a warm, vibrant community surrounded by plenty of local cafes and restaurants for residents to enjoy.

Providing permanent and respite care, the Terraces Aged Care facility is a McKenzie Aged Care development in Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.

Lush, shady and cool central landscaped courtyards provide a retreat for residents. Upper, mid and lower storey shade loving species create a rainforest character in these outdoor spaces and provide a relaxing atmosphere popular with residents.   

Colour Rendered Landscape Concept Plan The Terraces Aged Care Facility
The Terraces Care Facility

Organic pavement and turf shapes within central courtyards create a paradoxical design response to the adjoining pavement grid that surrounds the development. 

A formal paved entry road provides structure to the entry forecourt and is complimented with palms as well as specimen evergreen shade trees to offset the building height and built form.

In addition to this, sub-tropical shrubs and ground covers tolerant of coastal conditions make up the garden beds surrounding the development.

This site is positioned in Varsity Lakes and therefore additional landscape treatments to the streetscape were required as part of the overall covenant for the precinct.

Aged Care Landscape Design Principles

Careful consideration within design ensures outdoor spaces are designed and  constructed in accordance with the elderly’s needs.

Equitable Access

Easy equitable access in accordance with Australian Standards is crucial in these types of developments. Provision of ramps, stairs, handrails and other elements designed to specific codes is required to meet Authority approval.

Impact Through Colour

A variety of plant selection and species creating interest through colour and fragrance. Low maintenance species that provide screening, privacy, shade and interest.


Discrete swimming pool areas that provide privacy and security. Secure areas for residents for safety and protection.  

Space for Recreational Activities

Other landscape elements can include walking tracks throughout gardens, raised planter boxes for personal gardening and vegetable or flower beds and low maintenance spaces to reduce workload for more able retirees.

Central Courtyards

Passive Architectural design strategies for Cooling

Passive Design‘ strategies assist in reducing impacts on the environment including reducing operating costs, reducing the use of resources and providing better outdoor spaces.

Black and White Landscape Concept Sketch of a Courtyard
Central Courtyard 1

Passive design is an important consideration for any development and providing outdoor spaces that link to internal spaces assist in allowing this design consideration to be achieved.

Courtyards play an important role and can have a wide range of benefits from social benefits through to environmental considerations. In this case, the courtyards were designed to be lush, sub-tropical outdoor spaces creating a breezeway through the centre of the building to help reduce the need for air-conditioning use.

Black and White Landscape Concept Sketch of a Courtyard
Central Courtyard 2

The inclusion of ‘large-leaf’ shade loving species ensure livability in a low light environment while providing colour, interest and a softening of built form. Turf enclosed in natural curved edging helps to reduce the structured pavement effect of the forecourts to the building.

Seats and water features also strengthen the strong rain-forest character and help to reinforce an atmosphere that is welcoming and relaxing while taking advantage of the climate.

Citicene were engaged for landscape architectural services including concept phase, detailed design and construction.  

Client | McKenzie Aged Care  

Shire | Gold Coast City Council