- Article by Natalie Mortimer
Internationally-renowned architect, Glenn Murcutt, has been commissioned by Australian charity Royal Far West (RFW) to design its new beachfront headquarters at Manly.
Murcutt will work closely with architect and designer Angelo Candalepas of Candalepas Associates, to create a “compelling and beautiful” campus for Royal Far West, to allow the 95-year-old charity to grow its work for country kids in need and future-proof its service for the next 100 years.
Murcutt said he was “honoured” to accept the commission and was excited to partner with RFW on its joint vision for the transformation of the site.
“Having grown up in Clontarf and attended the former Manly Boys High School, I’ve been well aware of the great service provided by RFW over many decades and have recently seen the challenges they face with their growing service demand,” he says.
“By opening up the site, Angelo and I intend to deliver on RFW’s inspired vision of a wellbeing campus that will not only help secure RFW’s future in a highly responsible way, but also allow the charity to grow and help more and more country children.
“We are also aligned with RFW in that we see this commission as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give back to Manly by supporting local jobs and existing businesses and improving the Manly visitation experience. By rejuvenating the southern portion of this site, we intend to unlock its great potential.”
Murcutt is the visionary behind a portfolio of landmark projects, including the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, Australian Islamic Centre, Australian Islamic Mission Mosque, and most recently the MPavilion, which is to be installed in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens this summer.
Speaking about the design for the new campus, Candalepas says, “We feel a deep responsibility for RFW and Manly and their shared history, and this site, this client and this brief are all incredible – Glenn and I are both nervous and excited about the possibilities latent in this context.
“Architecture is only ever able to be created in context and through a deep understanding of history, and this collaboration can be imagined as something able to produce extraordinary outcomes, but there is a need for a reticence in the approach, a need for a quietness and a deeper need for understanding essential parts of the landscape.”