Waterbrook Bowral Lifestyle Resort

Historic Bowral site - a luxury later living enclave

Where Bowral, NSW, Australia
Value $200m
Client Waterbrook


  • Six-star luxury lifestyle and care village in a rural setting.
  • Redevelopment of historic school buildings and gardens.
  • Old-meets-new styling with the use of timber and brick synonymous with local history
  • Integration with the town and surroundings with minimal impact.

Project objective 

Redeveloping the site of a non-operational school to create a six-star village focused on providing exceptional care and community facilities at the doorstep of residents. The proposal involved remodelling the historic school buildings to accommodate 135 residences in a prestigious, semi-rural enclave. The proposal included lifestyle features such as a 24/7 concierge, restaurant and café, library, games room, greenhouse, cinema, wellness studio, indoor pool, gym, creative studios, original theatre and a reflection chapel to appeal to the high-end market.

Client challenge 

The iconic nature and vastness of the 17ha site called for a unique development that continues to evolve Waterbrook’s high standard of luxury retirement living while balancing the historic nature of the original school buildings and gardens. The proposal required careful consideration of the development’s density within the residential and tourist appeal of the Southern Highlands. In addition to luxury, resort-style living the proposal needed to deliver a comfortable and spacious home life, encourage a connected and active social life for residents and provide outstanding personal care.

Life3A solution 

Life3A contributed to the built environment design, proposing an innovative housing arrangement of clustered pairs of attached houses. The buildings recall traditional local mansions but with a regenerated look. The concept has been further developed into the lodges, where six to eight apartments are connected in the style of large 2-3 storey manor houses. The location of the buildings work to maximise sunlight in a locality where winter can be harsh. In addition, the development design ensures consistent scenic quality, providing the beauty of the Southern Highlands’ landscape for residents.

Exceptional outcome 

The design respects the history and landscape of the site and the region while providing the best lifestyle options and support for residents. It expands the scope of Waterbrook Village into the Southern Highlands area, ensuring it continues leading the benchmark for luxury and comfort within the luxury retirement care sector.

For more information

Geoff Shaw

Principal and Studio Director

Contact Geoff Shaw