ThomsonAdsett announces strengthening of its seniors living team

Leading Australian architecture and design firm, ThomsonAdsett, is pleased to announce the appointment of a master architect to its seniors living team, while strengthening its advisory and consulting capacity in the industry.

Senior architect and project manager specialising in aged care and retirement living, Bruce Ratcliffe, recently joined ThomsonAdsett in the role of Principal, Seniors Living. ThomsonAdsett is also excited to announce its two most experienced principals and long-time industry stalwarts Chris Straw and David Lane will be the firm’s first consulting partners.

Chris and David will now be able to focus on key strategic and advisory initiatives with client groups, organisational peak bodies and governments.

Bruce brings with him more than 30 years of experience in developing, planning and delivering senior communities and residential aged care facilities.

Most recently, Bruce spent seven years working at CHT Architects in Melbourne as a senior project lead in seniors living and the past four years as a co-director of the firm.

He also has an extensive track record of operating as principal in-house architect and senior project manager for major developers such as Becton, Stockland and specialist retirement and aged care provider, The Knowles Group (Arcare).

ThomsonAdsett’s Group Director – Seniors Living & Aged Care, Simon Drysdale, welcomed Bruce’s appointment and said his practical expertise and vast experience in seniors living architecture made him a great fit to prepare the firm for new opportunities in the sector.

“Bruce is well-known as a strong leader with incredible experience and expertise in project management which has seen him deliver projects of up to $40 million,” Simon said.

“He is incredibly passionate about the built form and the impact it plays on communities. Bruce applies a collaborative and consultative leadership style with constant emphasis on applying new models of care relevant to a changing industry.”

Bruce said the decision to join ThomsonAdsett and work with some of the industry’s most recognised seniors living leaders was an exciting one.

“ThomsonAdsett are repositioning themselves for the post-COVID era and to be part of that change offers me many opportunities to have an impact on the seniors living sector,” Bruce said.

Alongside Bruce’s appointment, ThomsonAdsett architects Chris Straw and David Lane will become consulting partners. The duo has collectively contributed more than 70 years in support of ThomsonAdsett.

“In order to capture the incredible knowledge and diverse skills of our most senior people within ThomsonAdsett, we are strengthening our strategic and advisory initiatives and freeing up our key advisors to support the post-COVID/post Royal Commission industry in this challenging time with ambassadorial-style consulting partner roles,” Simon explained.

“As two of our most senior and experienced leaders, Chris and David have impressive reputations and skill in the marketplace and within our business.

“As consulting partners, Chris and David will support and strengthen our strategic and market advantage in seniors living and, importantly, will also spend time developing our emerging leaders in this sector.”

Chris said ThomsonAdsett had been a wonderful vehicle to practice architecture.

“It has provided the opportunity to travel the world, study the world’s best practice and bring this information back to local clients, government and peak bodies,” he said.

“This formula defined us as industry leaders and specialists and allowed us to participate in many groundbreaking projects and initiatives.

“I’m now looking forward to continuing to focus on providing a strategic resource to ThomsonAdsett as well as mentoring and passing on three decades of experience.”

David said he was ready to embrace the new role which would see him draw upon his nearly 40 years of experience to advise and mentor.

“I am happy and comfortable to be involved in advisory roles and provide my opinion to both government, the private sector and, in particular, the not-for-profit sector in Australia and increasingly for the private sector and various governments throughout Asia,” he said.

“I hope I can continue to participate in this way and see it as the best way I can contribute back to the industry.

“I’m very keen to create a regeneration of younger, enthusiastic principals who have the skills and knowledge to continue to strengthen ThomsonAdsett’s role in the industry.”

On behalf of the National Seniors Living Team, Simon acknowledged Chris and David’s outstanding pioneering work, and said he looked forward to the continued support, passion and wisdom they offered to ThomsonAdsett.

“These initiatives will allow ThomsonAdsett’s Seniors Living design legacy to live on and strengthen, and we all look forward to David and Chris’s ongoing contribution as an intrinsic part of the seniors living team, albeit in a different role,” he said.