Leading Australian architectural firm WMK Architecture is designing the new purpose-built centre for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) at Macquarie University.

As Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education, cochlear implant and diagnostic services for people with hearing loss or vision impairment, RIDBC supports thousands of adults, children and their families each year. Founded in 1860, the not-for-profit organisation has been operating out of their North Rocks site since 1961.

The new facility on the Macquarie University campus is being designed as a bespoke centre of excellence, delivering a broad range of services from diagnostics, therapy and rehabilitation to research and education.

WMK’s design for the new RIDBC Centre of Excellence proposes a 1-3 storey building (including basement) across two interconnected pavilions at the corner of Culloden and Gymnasium Road within the Macquarie University campus. The centre will accommodate up to 80 preschool children and up to 120 school children in a single storey pavilion facing Culloden Road. The main RIDBC building will accommodate approximately 260 staff, and also includes public areas for staff and visitors, the RIDBC Renwick Centre classrooms and a business hub, a medical facility for various clinical services, and the RIDBC Renwick Centre resource centre.

Oculus has been appointed to design the landscape architecture. The design of the outdoor spaces will be centred on a sensory landscape that responds to the purpose of RIDBC, and the collective design aesthetic proposed for the site. The design will also retain a significant number of existing trees, and accommodate a response to the site’s indigenous and cultural heritage.

The development application for the proposed RIDBC Centre of Excellence is on exhibition until 16 December 2020.

The new RIDBC Centre of Excellence is planned to open for the 2023 academic year.