Build a visionary new retirement living and aged care development on the historic Gungahlin Homestead site, in Crace
Protect one of Canberra’s most important historical assets, and help solve the growing shortage of seniors accommodation in Canberra
Opening the doors to the historic Gungahlin Homestead is one of Canberra’s most significant rural heritage properties
Inviting the whole Canberra community to help us imagine the plan that will ensure it has a bright future
Why is the Homestead site important?
The Gungahlin Homestead is a hidden gem of Australian history that has been locked away for decades.
The Georgian/Victorian manor house was built by William Davis in the 1860s, and later extended by the Crace family. It has been used as a CSIRO wildlife research station since 1953 and closed to the public for 70 years.
Where is the Homestead?
The Gungahlin Homestead Estate is a powerful symbol of our heritage – not just our Colonial past but the rich culture of the Ngunnawal people who have lived here for tens of thousands of years.
The homestead is set on 36-hectares of English-style parklands which are as beautiful and as historically significant as the buildings. The carriageway is lined with majestic trees, there are formal gardens, outbuildings, a remnant water race and miniature lake.
What is special about our proposed design and future plans?
Canberra is an inspiring city. Since Sir Walter Burley Griffin first architected our national capital, it has encouraged progressive design thinking.
Our design brings European and Indigenous cultural values together. Although the cultures are very different, they both celebrate the special connection between place, culture, health and wellness. We have been working closely with the Ngunnawal custodians and our indigenous ecologist Dr. Chels Marshall, who is an expert in bio-cultural and regenerative design.
We want to make sure that the new community is a safe and nurturing habitat for all species, not just people. A critical aspect will be making sure the majestic tree canopy and other natural features on the site are protected and encouraged to thrive.
The new retirement community we are proposing will guarantee resources are available to protect the estate. Although the building façades have been maintained, the interiors have been extensively changed and will need significant restoration to bring them back to their former glory.
Highlights from Our Masterplan
The new retirement community we envisage will raise the bar on heritage and sustainability and offer a range of lifestyle options for people over 55.
The choice of homes will range from houses, villas and apartments, to high care facilities, all set in small, intimate neighbourhoods. As residents get older and need more support, they will be able to move through different levels of care without leaving the community they know and love.
Renewable energy infrastructure will be in place to target net zero emissions.
Historic buildings and landscapes will be evolved to have a useful place in the community. We expect the new community to be an attractive destination for the wider Canberra community to visit and enjoy.
Spaces in Our Initial Concept
Boutique retail, hospitality, and community venues
Co-working spaces to encourage local enterprise
Indigenous plant nursery, weekend markets, and micro-business incubator
Kilometres of walking trails and paths will be directly accessible from every building
Connecting Residents to their Environment
Extensive greenways will link public open spaces creating natural habitat with room for community orchards, chooks, and permaculture gardens
Narrow, slow speed private roads will blend into the landscape creating a safe and quiet environment
Water and drainage networks will be enhanced to reflect their historic, ecological, and cultural significance, including rainwater and recycled water systems
Why do we need more retirement accommodation?
Australia’s population is aging and there is a shortage of retirement accommodation and aged care across the ACT.
It is a growing problem in the northern suburbs. A 2022 report by PWC showed the northern districts of Canberra would be one of the fastest growing areas in Canberra for people over 55.
There is already a shortage of independent retirement living units and aged care beds and this is expected to get worse over the next 5-10 years.