The Manning Buildings alterations and additions were brought about by the request from the client to invigorate the function of the existing building, specifically the retail frontage, the arcade linking through to Paddy Troy Mall and reactivating the first floor space, some of which has not been occupied for decades. Manning Buildings were built from 1902 to 1906 in six stages by the trustees for Manning Bros. Estate, to designs believed to be by Cavanagh and Cavanagh as the main architects for the buildings. Although presenting as six distinct buildings, they are related in time, style and construction materials, and present as a harmonious whole in the streetscape. The buildings above canopy level maintained an authentic suite of facades. However, few authentic ground floor shopfronts remained.
The existing high-level facades were meticulously restored, with paint carefully stripped back to the existing lime render beneath. Windows were replaced to match existing and made fully operational creating beautiful tenancies with natural ventilation. The ground floor shopfronts were retained and restored where original examples remained, new shopfronts were installed to compliment the original design. New office space and lobby areas were added to the rear of the building in a lightweight structure so as not to damage the original fabric and have been designed to complement the original building rather than mimic it so that the “old and new” can easily be distinguished.
A new look arcade and public landscaped area to the rear of the building was design to activate Paddy Troy Lane and enhance the pedestrian link through this part of Fremantle, creating an inviting connection between the Fremantle Markets and High Street.