RIDBC is moving to a new home

Artist impression of the main entry to the building showing steps and a corresponding ramp entry to the building.The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children is moving to a new home. The Macquarie University campus is to be the new site for the RIDBC. The design and development application are on public exhibition until 16 December.

WMK Architecture created the design for the school and recreation areas and is featured in ArchitectureAu magazine. The article discusses the building style and materials, but says little about any access or universal design features.

The gallery of pictures of the proposed design shows some good features for everyone. Seating surrounds pillars so that people, blind or sighed, don’t crash into them. Curved outdoor seating enables deaf children to see each other signing. This style is good for everyone and encourages interaction. Patterned floor treatments are questionable though as these can be confusing to people who have marginal sight. Patterns can also be confusing to people with visual perception issues. The main entrance has both steps and a ramp of equal widths indicating choice. 

Have a look at the gallery of pictures and see what you think. The picture above is from the gallery. 

There is nothing in the article to suggest that building users were involved in the design, but it is difficult to imagine that they weren’t.