Yutjuwala Djiwarr – Nhulunbuy Flexible Aged Care

Kaunitz Yeung Architecture
Nhulunbuy, Yolŋu Country, Australia

Yutjuwala Djwarr translates roughly to “Little Heaven”. Centre cultural advisor Robyn Munuŋgurr said it’s a place of harmony and comfort, a home, where clients can spend their final time on earth before heading to what she described as “Big Heaven”.

Yutjuwala Djiwarr – Nhulunbuy Flexible Aged Care Facility has 32 beds for aged care with one palliative care bed and four dialysis chairs. It is located in Nhulunbuy, on Yolŋu Country in North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. The site is 1042 kilometres from the nearest city, Darwin, by road, which is mostly dirt. The road is cut off six months of the year by the wet season flooding, leaving the only access to Nhulunbuy via a one hour flight from Darwin or a two-day barge for materials from Darwin.

East Arnhem Land covers an area of 97,00-square-kilometres and has a population of 16,000 people, including 12,000 Yolŋu. Yolŋu people represent some of the most traditional Aboriginal people in Australia who are highly connected to Country / culture. They are made up of 16 clans, eight communities and countless homelands. In this context this residential aged care project, the very first aged care in East Arnhem Land, was designed in deep collaboration with prospective residents, Yolŋu Elders, families and organisations.


Lighting: Examination light: Planet Lighting ULED PLUS, External: SBL Series LED Pole Top lights, Downlights: LITELUX COLOUR SELECT GENII LED DOWNLIGHT, Downlights: Eagle Lighting V-SERIES SURFACE MOUNTED. Finishes: Floor Wet Areas: Armstrong Safeguard R12 Vinyl, Residen Flooring: Gerflor timber vinyl – Oak Beige, Timber Cladding: Darwin Stringybark, Colorbond Roof: Stratco Smartspan, Colorbond soffit: Lysaght Panel Rib, Colorbond Cladding: Stramit Longspan, Veranda Flooring: Darwin Stringybark Deck Boards. Fittings & Fixtures: Sanitaryware – Caroma


Photography: Brett Boardman, Perspective Sketches: Andrew Andersons AO