Lady Small Haven

Flexible facilities, independent lifestyles

One of the interior strategies to create a dementia-friendly environment is the use of purposeful colour and tonal contrasts between surfaces.

Lady Small Haven involved the redevelopment of an existing Gold Coast retirement property into a contemporary, active and connected community. Our team has designed the project’s first stage — 65 one, two and three-bedroom independent living apartments for elders and a range of recreation facilities. McNab managed the design and construction team and worked collaboratively with different stakeholders from Churches of Christ, bringing to life their vision of lively, integrated seniors’ living.

The key feature of Lady Small Haven is the shared recreational space. Designed to support diverse interests, this area is an airy, engaging social space. It includes a café, lounge, billiard room, library, salon, activity and function spaces, wine bar, outdoor terraces and pool. The interiors’ range of scale and materiality is influenced by the Gold Coast’s surrounds. Clerestory windows draw light into the building and operable walls ensure flexibility. The front of the centre is designed as an ‘active street,’ with connection to the neighbouring Sir Bruce Small Park.

The independent living apartments, all opening to the outdoors, are carefully planned for comfort and everyday efficiency. Generous windows offer outlook, light and natural ventilation. Purposeful colour and tonal contrasts within the interiors ensure legibility and appeal to the ageing eye. The apartment corridors draw in views to the neighbouring park and hinterland mountains, providing elders with a sense of connection to their broader surrounds.

All the apartments are gold or platinum certified under the Australian Government’s Liveable Housing Design Guidelines, promoting ageing in place.


McNab, for Churches of Christ Queensland


Benowa, Gold Coast