Dementia Centred

By DSDC Guest

October 16th, 2018

Delivering dementia-friendly housing

I am a dedicated practitioner of architecture in the field of seniors living and aged care and am tremendously passionate about how the end user responds to the built environment.

Between 1989 -1991, at the age of 21, I volunteered in an aged care facility back in my native Germany instead of having to join the army.

Fast forward to 1997 - I completed my architecture degree in Germany where I undertook several design units in housing for the ageing - before migrating to Australia.

In 2015 I joined Marchese Partners Architects, Brisbane, as the new Principal. One of my first tasks was to attend the University of Stirling where I participated in a DSDC Design Masterclass with our clients from all over Australia.

Participating in the Design Masterclass made me reflect on my time as a volunteer in the aged care facility in Germany. I recalled the people, whose life I cared for during the time, about how they spent their days, sitting and waiting for meals in an environment that agitated them. They often sat there waiting to be taken to the bathroom, sometimes having soiled themselves; embarrassed and undignified. Not knowing their purpose any longer, they felt meaningless and degraded. They had no choices in the environment they lived in.

Unfortunately, this still remains a common sight in so many facilities around the globe.

Marchese Partners is an international design practice dedicated to improving peoples’ lives. We are passionate about seniors living and aged care. We care about the merits of the built environment, in the way they are designed and function so the people who live in them have choices and their wellbeing is improved. Our design principles are different. Our advocacy is for the people using the buildings we design.  

Every decision we make as designers must improve people’s lives. Marchese Partners have been collaborating with DSDC since 2013. My presentation at the International Masterclass will focus on the delivery of ‘dementia friendly housing‘ in recent Marchese Partners and DSDC collaborations.

This will include Gaynes Park Manor in Adelaide, completed for Life Care, which received Australia’s first Gold Star accreditation by the DSDC. It will also include Fancutts Retirement Living for Retire Australia – a project that integrates Retirement Living and Care Suites. Many other projects all over Australia are underway.

Frank Ehrenberg
Principal, Marchese Partners International 
Visit Frank's LinkedIn


Frank Ehrenberg, Principal at Marchese Partners International (MPI), Australia has led a variety of design projects that have been recognised by peers and have won awards. Book your place at this years' International Masterclass to hear Frank's presentation on delivering dementia friendly housing (link is external)

Projects include:

• Aveo - The Clayfield - Seniors Living

• Aveo - Springfield Masterplan - Dementia friendly community

• Aveo - Springfield Building A - Seniors Living

• Bolton Clarke - Darlington - Aged Care

• Bolton Clarke - Breezes Mackay - Aged Care

• Bolton Clarke - Galleon Gardens - Aged Care

• Retire Australia – Fancutts - Retirement Living and Care Suites

• Retire Australia - Ashgrove Golf Club - Seniors Living & Care Suites

• Retire Australia -Tarragindi - Seniors Living

• Lendlease -BRC Seniors - Living & Aged Care Precinct

Categories: Design