Notre Dame remembers the life and contribution of Marcus Collins

Marcus Collins

21 July 2015

The University of Notre Dame Australia remembers the outstanding contribution of its visionary architect and long-time friend, Marcus Collins, who died peacefully on Monday 20 July 2015 after a long battle with cancer.

Since 1993, Mr Collins and his firm have been the architects for all buildings on the University's Fremantle and Broome Campuses, and for the original design work on the Sydney Campus.

Together with Dean Fehlberg as his architectural partner, Bill Fairweather as builder, Dr Peter Tannock as Vice Chancellor and Angela Chaney as designer, Mr Collins was responsible for the creation of a superb national university environment for students and staff.

Following his mantra of "touch the buildings lightly – if it's not broken, don't fix it", Mr Collins and his team are credited with restoring and transforming former shipping agencies and storage warehouses in Fremantle's West End into beautiful and functional buildings for Notre Dame and the local community. Today, more than 11,000 Notre Dame students study and socialise in these preserved buildings of historical significance.

Mr Collins' vision was also behind the design of new buildings on each of Notre Dame's three Campuses: the Broome Library; the Health Sciences Research and Education building and the Tannock Hall of Education in Fremantle; and the School of Medicine building in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

Mr Collins also developed a Notre Dame "look and ambience" to the interior design of the buildings. This is reflected in the brick-red carpet with black cross motifs, jarrah timber for loose furniture, partitioning, dark grey metalwork and cream-coloured walls present in all Notre Dame buildings.

For this enormous contribution to the University, Mr Collins was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Notre Dame in 2008.

"Marcus was a passionate, inspired and creative artist and master craftsman. He has received numerous professional awards and acknowledgements, which include the Royal Australian Institute of Architects' (RAIA) George Temple Poole Award; RAIA Design Awards; a City of Fremantle Heritage Award; and the Architects Boards of Western Australia annual Board Award," Professor Celia Hammond, Notre Dame Vice Chancellor, said.

"Marcus loved his work and we love the fruits of his work. His legacy will live on here at Notre Dame.

"Our sympathy and love go to Marcus' wife, Fiona Cameron, their two daughters, Phoebe and India, and all of his family and friends."

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;