Visionary architects to design the extension of Royal Far West’s Manly campus

Angelo Candalepas, Glenn Murcutt AO, Lindsay Cane AM outside Royal Far West in Manly
Angelo Candalepas, Glenn Murcutt AO, Lindsay Cane AM

Architectural luminary and internationally-renowned architect, Glenn Murcutt AO, has been commissioned by Royal Far West, to design the approved master plan for our beachfront headquarters at Manly. Mr Murcutt will work closely with accomplished architect and designer, Angelo Candalepas of Candalepas Associates, to create a compelling and beautiful campus for RFW, to allow us to grow our valuable work for country kids in need and future-proof our service for the next 100 years.

RFW CEO, Lindsay Cane AM says “Our vision is to deliver a beautifully integrated health and wellbeing “campus” that is inclusive, open and innovative. One that draws different people and local businesses together as a community to support our work of bringing vulnerable country kids to the beach to receive specialist health services while enjoying the warm hospitality of the local community.”

“We chose to partner with Glenn and Angelo as they represent iconic, accomplished architectural talent for an iconic site. Not only are they globally acclaimed, but Glenn, as a former local, intimately knows the micro-climate, light and landscape of Manly.”

Mr Murcutt said he was honoured to accept the commission and was excited to partner with RFW on our 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 explained.

“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.”

Mr Murcutt is one of Australia’s best-known architects, and the only Australian to be awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize in Architecture, which he won in 2002, in recognition of his innovative and environmentally sensitive buildings.

In 1992 he was also awarded the highest accolade for architecture in Australia and the USA – the Royal Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, followed by the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2009 – the only Australian to have received the American award. He also received the Alvar Aalto Medal from Finland in 1992.

Mr Murcutt is the visionary behind a portfolio of landmark projects, including the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre (in collaboration with Wendy Lewin and Reginald Lark), Australian Islamic Centre, Australian Islamic Mission Mosque (in collaboration with Hakan Elevli), and most recently the MPavilion (with assistance from Jonathan Temple), which is to be installed in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens this summer, to name a few.

Mr Candalepas’ long history of awards includes the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Sulman Medal for Public Architecture in 2009 and 2018, the Frederick Romberg National Architecture Award in 2011, the Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture in 2016 and the Aaron M Bolot Award for Residential Architecture four times. In 2016 he was also awarded the Premier’s Award for Architecture in NSW.

When asked for clues regarding their design for the campus, Mr Candalepas advised

“We feel a deep responsibility for RFW and Manly and their shared history. Architecture is only ever able to be created in context and through a deep understanding of history. This site, this client and this brief are all incredible and Glenn and I are both nervous and excited about the possibilities latent in this context. 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.”

Ms Cane explained the importance of the project to RFW.

“We have a unique understanding of the often-harsh realities of country life. The growing prevalence of behavioural, mental health, speech and language challenges coupled with a gross inequity of services between city and country is driving the unrelenting demand for our services. RFW is expanding rapidly in an effort to meet the rising challenge of country kids in need. In the last 10 years we have grown ten-fold in the numbers of people we have supported. In the next 10 years we will have a greater challenge again. In addition to expanding our footprint we’ll also be investigating ways the campus can provide co-locating opportunities for organisations aligned with our values as well as residential, retail and commercial opportunities that will safe-guard the charity’s future for the next 100 years.” said Ms Cane.

“Glenn and Angelo will now work with us to design a concept that works wonderfully well for RFW and brings much pride to the local community. Community members and stakeholders are already engaged in the process and this will continue over the next few months.”

Zali Steggall OAM MP, Member for Warringah, James Griffin MP, Member for Manly and Michael Regan, Northern Beaches Council Mayor are united in their support for the architect selection and vision for the proposed Royal Far West campus:

“We stand together and congratulate Royal Far West on the appointment of internationally renowned architects for a campus vision that will result in Manly further opening its heart for a worthy cause as well as the creation of a wonderful icon and opportunity for Manly. It’s great news for Manly, the state and the nation”.

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