ECH opens the doors to a $42.5m vertical village

ECH Encore Apartments, Modbury, South Australia. Photo credit: S Noonan

South Australian home care and retirement living provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) has officially opened the doors to its state-of-the-art vertical village – Encore Apartments in Modbury, approx 15klms northeast of Adelaide.

The vertical village is designed to offer apartment-style living while maintaining an important sense of community to enable people to have the best possible life as they age.

ECH divested its residential aged care business in 2014, moving into a technology-led model designed to enable people to remain independent. This has expanded to encompass a Care Hotel that is currently running as a proof of concept til the end of the year and is designed to provide short-term care and respite needs. Inside Ageing spoke with ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter in April of this year about their journey and the future for the not-for-profit. The discussion can be watched on-demand here.

Encore Apartments offer 77 two-bedroom apartments all with modern, stylish open plan living and private balconies. There is also an onsite gym, cafe, community hall and community garden.

ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter said after a two-year build, he was thrilled to
officially open Encore Apartments and welcome residents to their new homes.

“The construction of Encore Apartments demonstrates our commitment to creating
innovative village environments to meet the growing needs of our community” said
Dr Panter.

“As a society, we need to move away from the typical model of retirement living and develop new ways for people to live independently that positively impact their overall health and wellbeing.”

The contemporary village incorporates dementia-friendly design principles such as appropriate colour schemes and textures to enable people living with dementia to age in place.

“Our aim was to avoid hotel-like corridors, so each apartment includes a front porch and screen door to ensure the village has a neighbourhood feel,” said Dr Panter.

Plus, in a nod to the holistic benefits of intergenerational connections, a co-located SA Montessori Early Learning Centre will be opened in January 2022. ‘Echoes Montessori’ will be the 7th SA Montessori Early Learning Centre in Adelaide and will actively offer learning opportunities between children and ECH residents.

New residents Bob and Kaye were the first people to call Encore Apartments home and said they were attracted to the concept of a vertical village while still being part of a community.

“We’ve always been community-minded, so when we heard about Encore Apartments, we knew it was the perfect place for us to retire,” said Bob.

Just over 65 per cent of Encore Apartments are currently under contract.


Encore Apartments was designed by Adelaide architecture firm Walter Brooke and built by Sarah Constructions.


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