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Architectus

A new building for Ruah Community Services in Perth

Western Australia’s Ruah Community Services and Architectus have revealed the design for a new $20 million purpose-built centre for women and children escaping family and domestic violence in Northbridge, Western Australia.  

The project, located on Ruah’s Shenton Street site, will be unique in Western Australia, offering comprehensive support for women and children including those escaping family violence.  

The multi-functional building will sit across 694 square metres and span seven-storeys – three floors dedicated to Women’s Health and Family Empowerment Services, two floors to Support Services, and two floors to short-term accommodation. 

The trauma-informed design has been approached with a deep sensitivity for the building’s context and the experience of its users. A delicate pleated façade calms and welcomes visitors, while also providing anonymity and intimacy upon entry. The interior architecture is intuitive and imbued with a sense of nature to create warmth as users navigate the multi-faceted spaces. The design also takes advantage of the building’s location, which sits directly opposite the Russell Square public parkland with its natural outlook.  

Architectus Senior Associate, Will Lakin, said: “We are proud to support Ruah Community Services with an elegant yet understated building that will offer women and children, including those recovering from abuse, a safe space for long-term healing. 

“The contemporary design is a realisation of how our physical environment can impact an individual’s sense of identity, dignity and empowerment. It reflects the pioneering history of Ruah in providing mental health support to victims of abuse, while also looking to the future to help shift community attitudes that allow family violence to continue.” 

Ruah Community Services CEO, Debra Zanella, said: “We are so pleased to be collaborating with Architectus on this game-changing project for Perth. Architectus has delivered a thoughtful design that responds with understanding and empathy to the needs of the women and children who will be using the building for positive outcomes.” 

Construction is due to start later this year, with a completion date scheduled for 2023. Learn more about RUAH Perth here.