Royal Far West Centre for Country Kids

Royal Far West Centre for Country Kids, Architectus

The Royal Far West (RFW) Centre for Country Kids is a compact 6-storey building located in Manly, near Sydney Harbour. The Centre provides a fully integrated model of healthcare for over 8,000 children and families from rural and remote areas of New South Wales, Australia – a legacy that has been undertaken on this significant and iconic site for over 90 years. Through a combined urban design, architectural and landscape design response, the new Centre supports RFW’s unified model of health, education and disability services, caringly blurring the line between learning and consultation. Creating a light-filled and engaging place with active spaces, passive spaces and smaller consultation spaces, the Centre is the physical embodiment of Care for Country kids. Beneath a landscape-screened façade, the Centre entrance leads visitors into the reception area, glimpses to the first level and courtyard to the adjoining Drummond House reveal the building’s function and provide clear legibility for clients, parents, visitors and clinical staff. Oral health, meeting and administration are located on ground floor, large flexible areas adjacent to the courtyard provide opportunities for recreation and public interface. A large stair and void links the first three levels. Levels 1 and 2 comprise of group therapy rooms, recreational room, operable walls for flexibility and observation, and consulting rooms. Level 3 locates learning spaces to the south with a terrace to the north doubling as recreational space for primary-aged children. Levels 4 and 5 are designated for management, administration and tele-health services.