From the street, it’s immediately clear that The Benson Toorak is not your average retirement village. In fact, without knowing that it is the most impressive and desirable community for older Melbournians, the complex could easily be mistaken as a grand private residence, or impressive collection of luxury apartments – which of course, is exactly what The Benson is – and so much more.
Set back, The Benson Toorak sits on prestigious Toorak Road. With autumn well underway, the plane trees that line Toorak’s neighbourhoods are turning amber and gold. Trams slowly work their way up the hill toward the city. Just metres away from The Benson Toorak rests St Peters, the beautiful 107-year-old sand stone Catholic Church. Before even entering the grounds, it’s evident that The Benson is in a league of its own.
Once onto the grounds, you’re invited along a wide, stone path flanked by impeccably cropped greenery. A short walk leads to the entrance; entering through large, elegant doors into the building’s foyer. Complete with fire place, arm chairs, curated classic and contemporary artworks and an exotic and impressive mosaic table as the centre piece, it feels like stepping inside a beautiful, private home. The space sets a tone of elegance and grandeur that permeates the entire building. A chic, well-appointed hall leads beyond the communal spaces and on, to the The Benson Toorak’s private residences.
Turn right, and find yourself in a spacious lounge, dining area and bar. A central, communal space that’s the heart of the building; a place for residents to unwind, to socialise, to host family and friends. Flooded with natural light from large windows, the space is appended by a sizable, sheltered outdoor area, with barbecues and additional seating for informal get togethers, lunches and dinners. Furnishings and fabrics are rich and varied; from pale French linens, to rich velvets and intricate, colourful embroidery. The space is at once exotic and vibrant, while also remaining classic and tasteful. An exercise in balancing subtle oriental influences, with contemporary interior tastes. In the lounge sits another open fire place; coffee and pastries are ever-present, and the well-stocked bar, only metres away, promises easy afternoons, enjoyed with old friends. The dining area contains larger tables for impromptu or planned gatherings; residents are welcome and encouraged to book the space for private events.
The Benson Toorak is now complete. The site was officially opened and blessed by His Grace Archbishop Denis Hart DD in late April. What was once a vision, is now reality. The Benson Toorak’s attention to detail in every fixture, fitting and appointment sets it apart from all others on the market. The quality of design and finish is evident in every room, from the custom-designed box lanterns in communal areas, to their complementary siblings in the apartments’ bathroom sconces; style and sophistication are in the DNA of this place.
Most of the first residents have moved in. There is a limited number of apartments left for sale. The time to secure your luxury retirement apartment is now. Book a tour today.
Melbourne’s most exclusive retirement community opens its doors
From its inception, the vision of The Benson Toorak began with a challenge – to create a first for Melbourne and its retirement community – the pinnacle of luxurious retirement living. Many have watched with great anticipation as the vision took shape. Now, this vision has become a reality. With thirty-three bespoke apartments, generously appointed gathering spaces and manicured gardens in a premier Toorak location, The Benson offers its residents the very best in retirement living.
At The Benson Toorak everything you need is at your fingertips. Comfort and luxury are paramount. The Benson has been carefully and methodically planned from the start to provide the ultimate lifestyle for its residents.
The Benson’s first residents moved into their new residences at the beginning of April; a timing pleasingly aligned with the new beginnings that are synonymous with Easter. Over the month, residents have been busy setting up their new homes, settling into the community, and forging new friendships with each other.
For those who’ve been waiting to inspect the building with their own eyes, the wait is over – your time is now.
The architecture of luxury
The Benson Toorak’s design was conceived by Demaine Partnership, award-winning masters of luxury, high-quality retirement communities across Melbourne’s South-East and the peninsula. Many residents will recognise their work on numerous high-profile Toorak residential apartment developments, and the redevelopments of the Sorrento, Royal Melbourne and Kingston Health Golf Clubs.
Demaine Partnership Directors Simon Hanger and Michael Jeffreson’s intention for the design of The Benson Toorak was to create a truly outstanding offering for its residents, borne out of a knowledge and connection to place:
“We think residents will enjoy The Benson on three levels. First, there’s the private realm of their high-quality home. Then there’s the exclusive shared realm of the lounge and wellness facilities. Lastly, there’s the surrounding community; the Parish, Toorak Village and everything else Melbourne offers nearby.”
Seeing is believing.
The Benson Toorak offers the luxurious retirement living you deserve.
There are only a limited number of residences remaining. Arrange a tour today to see for yourself. The time to act is now.
It takes a village: the benefits of ageing in community
What do daily exercise, being socially connected, having a religious faith and being part of an active community have in common? Of course, they are central tenants for a meaningful life, but more specifically, research shows that it’s these things that the world’s longest-living and happiest people have in common.
The key to good well-being, is a well-rounded approach.
A healthy retirement – much like a healthy life – is about balance. However, balance can be difficult to strike as previously simple tasks become more challenging. Cooking a healthy meal isn’t easy in a kitchen designed around the needs of someone closer to the age of 30 rather than 70. Getting out and about to exercise can seem daunting and unappealing when faced with the prospect of walking around the neighbourhood alone, or attending a yoga class filled with under 25s. Maintaining regular social connections with friends and family may be challenging if a long drive is required.
This is why our residents have decided to make the move into The Benson, where – simply put – life is easier. Apartments are designed consummately to deliver space, light and ease of access. Kitchens and bathrooms prioritise flexibility and mobility, ensuring that residents can remain confident and in control of their surrounds for years to come. The onsite gym encourages regular exercise, from independent sessions, to one-on-one personal training. Group yoga and Pilates offer a low-impact, socialised approach to keeping fit and mobile. Social connection is at the heart of The Benson, with a variety of places and spaces promoting community relationships. From a fully stocked library (complete with book club), to the onsite club and bar (and regular wine club meetings), to the outdoor terraces and gardens, The Benson has been conceived with mingling in mind.
St Peter’s Church and Parish Centre, which sit adjacent to The Benson, offers yet more opportunities to meet with other residents, and maintain connection to the life of the Parish.
A community within a community.
Many of The Benson’s residents are Toorak locals. They know and love the area. And for many, moving into The Benson has opened up new possibilities to discover their own ‘backyard’. An afternoon at the cinema or meeting friends for dinner is but a stroll away. Its position on the tram line makes getting into town simple. And best of all, residents don’t have to change doctors or specialists or other trusted advisors, as they’re staying local.
A village to be a part of.
The Benson offers its residents the fundamentals of community and quality of life, while also being among the most superbly appointed retirement offerings in Melbourne. Brand new, architecturally designed and delivered with exacting attention to detail, there are a very limited number of residences remaining.
When thinking ahead, it pays to have a plan
Older Australians are a fiercely independent bunch; living longer than ever before, retiring later in life, socialising more than previous generations. Unsurprisingly, this independence is cherished by them – and their families, for whom it offers reassurance and continuity.
Is there a ‘right time’ to consider retirement living?
There’s often a mentality among children that they have a duty to keep their parents “independent for as long as possible.” Unfortunately, “as long as possible” often translates to waiting for something to go wrong; a catalyst or trigger that sees families scrambling to work out how best to plan for their parents’ declining mobility or increasing anxiety.
Experts frequently warn to watch for ‘trigger points’ – a fall, a lingering illness, the loss of a partner, a break-in or burglary. It’s events like these that make living alone, in even the most well-appointed family home, less enjoyable and more challenging… not just for the person living there, but for children and families too.
For some, there’s a resistance to moving into retirement living. For some, there is a perception that it’s the same as aged care (this couldn’t be further from the truth), while for others, the thought of leaving the family home is overwhelming and daunting. This is fair and reasonable.
However, the most surprising thing is this. Residents – and their families – find that upon moving into retirement living, they’re struck by the realisation that they wish they’d made the move much sooner. And why not? Reduced maintenance burden, concierge service, safety and security prioritised through design and technology, continuity of local community and relationships with friends and family are all part of life at The Benson.
Life at The Benson
Accessible kitchens, single storey floor plans, spacious living and dining areas, and bathrooms free of common hazards mean peace of mind for our residents and those that they love. In addition to the superb layout, the social offering is second to none. The Benson is equipped with various communal spaces; a club, library, bar, and dining room, available for bookings; residents relish the opportunity to socialise and entertain friends and family.
Additionally, The Benson has been designed to ensure both residents and the treasures of a lifetime are safe and secure. Vehicle recognition, credentialed parking access, and integrated burglary-resistant windows in all apartments are a source of comfort for both residents and families.
Sounds like a plan.
The Benson is Melbourne’s most desirable retirement community. A very limited number of residences remain. If you or your family are ready to make the move to retirement living at The Benson, call 1300 28 88 66 to book a tour.
It’s a wonderful life (all year round)
Christmas and an exciting New Year are just around the corner at The Benson.
You may no longer be racing down the corridor at dawn on Christmas morning to see what Santa left for you under the tree.
Instead, that same joy might now be rekindled as you watch grandchildren unwrap presents in a frenzy of excitement; or as you watch Denis Walter croon a carol to onlookers softly lit by candlelight; or as you enjoy a quiet night with an excellent dinner accompanied by a perfectly matched glass of red.
No matter your age, the holidays should be a joyful time.
Millions of us across Melbourne are busy hurtling towards the end of the working year. Some are readying themselves for an onslaught of fifty family members for a festive lunch, while others are packing the car and heading to the beach for a smaller, relaxed, seafood affair.
Rather than visiting the busy homes of friends and relatives, many older Australians actually relish the idea of hosting at home. However, for over 70s, who are still in the family home, there are practical constraints that make hosting events – both during the holidays and throughout the year – more difficult.
Manoeuvring around traditional kitchen can be tricky, and the thought of carrying in a Christmas lunch’s worth of shopping bags too daunting to even consider. Further, the logistics of sourcing and setting up a fresh Christmas tree are complicated and impractical, and once Christmas comes around, it’s easier to simply go to the homes of children and friends.
Instead, imagine hosting Christmas, cooking in a kitchen that’s been purposefully built with your needs in mind, supported by a concierge service that organises the delivery of all your gourmet fare, brought to your prestigious Toorak doorstep, ready for you to put on a festive feast to remember.
For many the holidays ask us to question what we would like for the coming years. And for many they are also the perfect time to consider what continuing quality of life, in a more comfortable home, could be like. The Benson Toorak’s luxuriously designed apartments have been built to reinstate your independence, in a home where the everyday is easy; where life can be wonderful, every day.
To find out more about these unequalled luxury properties in the heart of Toorak, contact our sales team for an appointment by telephoning 1300 28 88 66.
The Benson emerges on the Toorak Road streetscape
Our March construction update.
The builders, Buxton Construction, have been blessed with ideal weather in recent times and have been able to progress steadily with the major concrete pours for the basement and ground floor areas. The grandeur of The Benson is beginning to take shape on the Toorak Road streetscape. We look forward to seeing The Benson rise quickly to its full height over the next few months.
As with any such project, The Benson is an evolving entity. Recent modifications to The Benson’s interior plans include the update of all windows to Tilt and Turn Windows for increased ventilation, hygiene and security, and external remote-controlled motorised vertical blinds will be installed on west-facing windows for a bit of added protection from the elements.
Lead architect Simon Hanger from Demaine Partnership, gave an update of progress at a recent Friends of The Benson event hosted at The Kooyong Tennis Club.
The display suite was relocated in late December, and can now be accessed through the St Peter’s Parish courtyard.
Meet the landscape architects
We speak to Mike Stokes of Tract, the landscape architects responsible for giving our gardens an “established” feel.
How has your design addressed the theme and character of The Benson and the adjoining St Peter’s Parish Toorak?
Our take on the architectural design could be described as contemporary reflections on a period style. As well as the beautiful stone, St Peter’s Parish church provides a strong, timeless presence. Both it, and The Benson, exist in a leafy neighbourhood of period homes with generous mature gardens and large trees – both deciduous and native. Our design approach works on two levels. Firstly, in terms of local context, to harmonise the existing and proposed buildings with a landscape overlay sensitive to the neighbourhood character, including larger trees and the grassed areas often associated with churches. And secondly, to meet the needs of residents.
What would you say are the biggest considerations and challenges for projects like this?
The key consideration is to really understand the end user’s needs, expectations and sensitivities. The facility must exude an address of the highest quality and be such that residents are proud to say they live here and are keen to invite visitors to “show off” their new lifestyle investment.
And the landscaping’s role in this?
As many residents would be downsizing from garden lots in the leafier suburbs, they appreciate and expect well designed, mature and maintained gardens and external spaces. To this end, the gardens must present as generous, and well advanced, at opening and be then beautifully maintained. To meet, or even exceed, quality “resort” standards.
Do you have any recommendations to residents for making the most of their available outdoors living spaces?
Simply relax and enjoy the gardens – particularly the regular ongoing maintenance, as it’s now the responsibility of others!
Meet the interior design team
We speak to Sarah Kirby and Michael Jeffreson of the award-winning Demaine Partnership.
What was the inspiration behind your styling decisions for The Benson?
The unique aspect of The Benson is the way in which it fits into its surroundings. It’s a kind of collegiate relationship between the church, the public spaces, the residences and the gardens, and we wanted to extend that feeling of integration to the interiors.
Tell us a little bit about the floor plans
The heart of the residences are the living rooms, and particularly the way in which they respond to the seasons. The outlook to generous indoor spaces and gardens makes these very comfortable spaces in summer and spring. And in winter the warm décor and the fireplaces make the apartments very pleasant to live in.
The shared spaces within The Benson are essential for building a sense of community; what are the most important aspects of these spaces from your perspective?
We wanted these spaces to be more like the luxury foyer of a boutique upmarket hotel. They’re spaces that feel more like an enlargement of your living room and that suits the boutique quality of The Benson. So, you could treat these spaces as your front room, a place to entertain on a larger scale than is typically in an apartment.
For residents downsizing how do you accommodate both sentimentality and style?
Good design allows people to really personalise the place that they occupy with the things that they value, and in doing so, our residents can express their personal style. Our Autumn and Spring colourways provide an adaptable palette for personalisation. In styling your apartment, we encourage residents to not lose sight of the things that are valuable and meaningful to them.
Local business profile: Toorak Travel
For when you decide to “lock up and leave.”
As much as we know you’re going to love living at The Benson, many of you are going to want to leave it from time to time. To travel, of course. As a service to residents, we looked around the area for a travel consultant who would understand our resident’s travel requirements. We didn’t have to look far. A stroll into The Village revealed Toorak Travel.
We recently spoke with the Director, Julie Poumés. Julie and her staff are all very experienced, seasoned travellers. She is justifiably proud of the fact that a large portion of her business is for repeat and referred customers. In fact, she’s even organised cruising holidays for three generations of the same family. And many of her current clients are the grandchildren of people whose holiday travel plans she’s been handling for over 40 years.
“It’s all about service and knowledge,” Julie said. Despite competition from the internet, her business thrives due to the service she and her staff delivers to clients. They take the time to understand preferences and can make recommendations that no amount of Googling will ever unearth. “Thanks for finding that gem for us!” is the kind of appreciative comment she often gets from returning travellers.
Julie has also offered to organise some film and information nights for us. We look forward to that.
To the ballet or the MCG? That is the question.
Judging by those who’ve already chosen The Benson as their future home, we envisage many residents will be leading a very active social life. And have very eclectic tastes.From football, or an event at the MCG; to the opera or ballet; or dining in Melbourne’s finest restaurants – living in Toorak really is absolutely ideal given what our residents wish to enjoy.
For many, the starting out point of their social adventures will be Club Ebsworth, the social heart of The Benson (think a genteel bar in a boutique hotel, or maybe a private club in New York or London). It’s a place to relax, entertain guests, have a cup of tea or coffee (or something a little stronger perhaps) and cosy up to the fireplace on a winter’s evening. Club Ebsworth is the venue to meet friends and fellow residents before heading off to whatever activity takes your fancy.
Club Ebsworth has been designed to complement the tastes of The Benson community. It will also be the home of our Sommeliers Club, the wine club to be set up for the exclusive use by residents.
But even the most socially active occasionally like to enjoy a quiet night in. Right next door to the Club is the elegant dining room. On selected nights, our chef would be delighted to prepare something special for you.
We think, for The Benson residents, “Meet you in the Club” will become a very familiar phrase.
The Benson is building momentum
Our November construction update. The Benson will be up and running in late 2017.
A lifestyle of elevated luxury is now beginning to unfold around St. Peters Church in beautiful Toorak as the foundations for The Benson are laid. With leading builders, Buxton Construction, in control, progress has been smooth and assured with every last detail of The Benson master plan being meticulously followed to ensure it blends seamlessly and sympathetically with its historic surrounds.
Before any construction commenced the entire site was completely drained and stabilised. Now piling is all but complete and capping beams have already been poured. Steel reinforcement is now being installed across the site in readiness for the first major concrete pours. Construction on the basement level of The Benson will then begin in earnest as the first exciting stage gains momentum and the future of luxury retirement living begins to take shape.
Meet the architects
We speak to Simon Hangar and Michael Jeffreson of the award-winning Demaine Partnership
Is it important to have an architect who has a specialty in retirement communities?
Retirement living is a rapidly evolving area, so it’s important to have a designer who’s fully engaged with current trends and technical requirements. It’s also important to be able to see beyond the boundaries of the retirement sector and understand the broader expectations of purchasers in the luxury residential market. What do they expect their facilities to be like? What do they expect recreation-wise? We’re in a unique position in terms of our expertise with high end clubs such as Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath Golf Clubs with a similar demographic.
What was the inspiration behind your design for The Benson?
The immediate area of Toorak, the beautiful St Peters church, and how spaces such as courtyards and cloisters link these places together.
Was it an exciting challenge to incorporate the church?
The church really presented an opportunity. When you think of great town squares anchored by a church, we wanted to honor that tradition by creating a memorable place that integrated gracefully.
What kind of experience can residents expect at The Benson?
We think residents will enjoy The Benson on three levels. First there’s the private realm of their high quality home. Then there’s the exclusive shared realm of the lounge and wellness facilities. Lastly there’s the surrounding community; the parish, Toorak Village and everything else Melbourne offers nearby.
What are the most important aspects in designing the living spaces at The Benson?
Creating great spaces that are receptive to living, yet elegant and timeless.
What are the most important aspects in designing the shared spaces at The Benson?
Creating the feeling of an exclusive club. The dining room, bar, alfresco BBQ area, outdoor terrace and lounge space all give residents outstanding entertaining options with family and friends.
What are you most proud of in the design of The Benson?
We’re really proud of the way the building will nest so comfortably into the Toorak environment and enhance the suburb as a whole.