Manea College is a bold new step in the learning landscape. This is the new century campus where the learning environment is highly flexible, adaptable, spontaneous and interactive. The learning environment is not just the ‘school’, it is an occurrence which can be any place, anywhere, anytime. The seeds of learning occur in a variety of contexts, social, physical and ideological. In this way Manea re-defines the classroom as being many things – inside, outside, in the central street, around the coffee table, on the grass or under a tree.
The campus has been sensitively immersed in its landscape. The building is carefully crafted and articulated to nestle gently on the side of the hill, cascading down in symphony with the natural contours.
The ‘compact campus’ has significantly minimised the impact on the natural bushland and created a very delicate environmental footprint. The buildings have been intricately manipulated to respond to every nuance of existing foliage and topography.
Whilst the campus has been compacted and singularised, the building forms are highly articulated, varied and sculpted. The overall gesture is one of cascading pods down the side of the hill, scattered amongst the trees. Each element is treated individually in terms of its function and site context.
In the 2009 MBA South West Building Excellence Awards this project won Best Commercial/Industrial Building over $4.5m, Best Commercial Project and the Excellence in Construction on a Challenging Site award.
This success was followed up in the 2009 National MBA Excellence in Construction Awards with taking out the Best State Government Building – Regional WA award and listed as finalist in the Best Regional Project and Excellence in Energy Efficiency categories.