Jewish Care Anne and Eric Smorgon Active Living Centre

DesignInc Melbourne

Jewish Care’s Anne and Eric Smorgon Active Living Centre connects people through social and recreational activities, cultural and spiritual services, and therapies that enhance wellbeing, health and independence.

The building design celebrates the diversity of Jewish culture and its multifaceted identity through the use of a woven pattern, symbolic of people and nature. This dynamic motif features throughout the interior and is reproduced at a range of scales. In contrast, the exterior has a predominantly brick palette, expressing robust materiality.

The central space acts as a “community spine” with flexible gathering spaces flowing from it. Offering a range of adaptable community spaces, consulting rooms, a gymnasium, and café, the Centre provides diverse activities and services for the community and the neighbouring Gary Smorgon House residents. The project introduces a direct link between Gary Smorgon House and the Active Living Centre, creating a seamless transition between the two facilities. With a focus on older people who live independently in their own homes in the local area, the Centre is a place of connection where seniors can visit, exercise, and meet with others through therapeutic interactions or social activities that promote active living and healthy ageing.

Functional requirements included meeting and administrative rooms, training and outreach services and respite services for the wider community. A new dedicated Shule was incorporated into the ALC, replacing the Shule at the neighbouring Gary Smorgon House. The Active Living Centre includes allied health services that focus on restoring, improving or maintaining elders independence and wellbeing.


Furniture: Thinking Works, Zenith. Lighting: Column Light, ECC Lighting, Satelight. Finishes: Adbri, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, Woven Image, Australian Sustainable Hardwood, Signorino. Fittings & Fixtures: Barben, Caroma, Enware, Billi.


Photography: Dianna Snape.