John James Village – Respite Accommodation Facility

The Foundation partnered with the Leukaemia Foundation to develop the $7million multi-award winning John James Village, a blood cancer respite accommodation facility in Garran.

  • Project Value


  • Project Timeline

    April 2015 – August 2016

  • Project Design

    DJAS Architects

  • Project Builder

    Project Coordination Australia Pty Ltd

  • Project Manager

    RPS Project Management

  • Project Superintendent

    Andrew Blencowe – Project & Asset Development Manager – John James Foundation

  • Awards

    Australian Institute of Architects – Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture

    Australian Institute of Project Management – JJV (Project under $15million)

    Master Builders Association (MBA) Award for Special Purpose Building Project

    National Excellence in Metal Roofing & Cladding Award for Specialist Works Project Under $300,000 Roof Cost

  • Officially Opened by

    Honourable Chief Minister – Andrew Barr

Community Infrastructure Project Partner – Leukaemia Foundation Australia (LFA)

In 2015 the John James Foundation successfully partnered with the Leukaemia Foundation Australia to develop and construct a high-quality, purpose built respite accommodation facility for patients and their families undergoing lifesaving treatment for Blood Cancers at the nearby Canberra Hospital.

John James Village (JJV) was the Foundation’s first major philanthropic community development which required support of ACT Government to provide the Garran land parcel on a concessional lease basis, allowing subsequent construction to commence in September 2015.

The $7million project was the first of its kind in Canberra and families from surrounding regions stay free of charge in the high quality accommodation.

Designed by celebrated Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn Architects (DJAS) to be a ‘home away from home’ during treatment, the Village is comprised of six individual self-contained adaptable residential dwellings that offer a private space to retreat and recover. The Recreation and Reception buildings located at varying levels within the landscaped gardens create a true village feeling, offering residents valuable communal spaces to come together and share their experiences.

To understand the project and its community engagement click on the JJV link:

About Leukaemia Foundation Australia (LFA)

In Australia 35 people a day are diagnosed with blood cancer.  In the ACT region about 400 people are diagnosed with blood cancer every year.  Blood cancer can affect anyone from infants to the elderly and claims more Australian lives than breast cancer or melanoma.

John James Village provides a comfortable home-away-from home environment while people are treated at nearby Canberra Hospital. Patients often have to leave home and work for months at a time to get treatment, so secure accommodation is vitally important.

About the Building

The John James Foundation values the importance of biophilic design and considers this unique approach when developing its Community Infrastructure Projects.

Biophilic design is an approach to architecture and design that seeks to connect building occupants more closely to nature. Biophilic designed buildings incorporate things like natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other elements for creating a more conducive and healthy built environment for people.

The John James Village project was specifically designed for wellness, healing and rest.  The purpose built accommodation for immune suppressed patients included for smooth surface finishes so as not to promote infection.  The use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints were used, important to stave off allergy.

Each of the units contain ducted vacuum systems to eliminate airborne dust activity.  The orientation of glazing maximises natural light and connection to the adjacent sensory landscaped gardens.

Through the design process, the Foundation gains a valuable understanding of the operational needs of its project partners.  The design then translates to ensure the amenity is low maintenance and allows LFA to focus on its core service deliverables.

The John James Village respite accommodation facility was designed to include sustainable building elements such as a 12.88KwH Solar Energy system with Battery storage to eliminate the need for ongoing LFA reliance on mains energy supply for the facility.  Any surplus energy generated is redirected to the local energy grid for distribution and supply to the local community.

The return on investment for the solar energy installation project at John James Village is 4.6years.

The John James Foundation prides itself on developing high quality facilities for the local community.  The utilisation of the Building has shown that success can be created through a true partnership approach.

About the Partnership

The JJF and LFA partnership is continually strengthened through mutual recognition of operational capability, and a strong desire to support Canberra and the surrounding Regional Communities.

LFA previously rented a suburban house for patient accommodation while staff worked from a converted garage. So it’s not surprising that everyone was keen to move to the John James Village.

The Leukaemia Foundation Australia teamed with the John James Foundation to develop the concept for the John James Village and presented it to the ACT Government for support.  The collaborative approach was compelling, and the Government supported the partnership through the provision of land.

The spacious Leukaemia Foundation offices in the Village allow for an expansion of regional counselling and support services.  The LFA has strong ties with the local community and generates significant funding support via annual World’s Greatest Shave events.

LFA provides regular reporting to John James Foundation to inform on accommodation occupancy, strategic planning developments, end user profile stories and all efforts to research for blood cancer eradication by 2035.

About the Building Partnership

The John James Foundation Community Infrastructure Projects are about community.  The building process is “by Canberra, for Canberra”, with local resources and suppliers engaged to design and construct the Foundation’s projects.

The John James Village Project utilised all local trades and services to develop the project.  Head Contractor, Project Coordination Australia delivered on its promise to engage with all supply chain stakeholders to voluntarily contribute to the project to maximise value and community benefit.  The quantum saved by the community was in excess of $360,000, or almost 6% of the construction cost.

To learn more about the construction stakeholder partnerships, visit:

Project Images

Charity Partner


Key Project Partners