Things We Love In Freo


The summer calendar holds many wonderful events in Perth with an abundance of festivals and entertainment to soak up. This year is particularly exciting with the inauguration of Fremantle’s very own leg of the annual Fringe World Festival, appropriately named Freo Royale!

Held from the 4th– 15th February, with some of the acts also taking place during the Fringe Festival from late January and throughout February, the line-up of performances looks very exciting, with cabaret, music, visual arts, comedy and theatre events happening all over town.

Old Whalers Tunnel

There are 11 locations scattered around Fremantle, with acts setting up in some of the many beautiful venues Fremantle has to offer, including the PS Art Space, Kidogo Arthouse, The Odd Fellow, the historical Victoria Hall and even the beautiful old whalers tunnel beneath the Round House.

We’re particularly looking forward to spending a few balmy evenings at the ‘Kings Square Common’, which will be one of the main attractions during the festival, running from the 4th – 8th February outside MANY 6160. Hosting a pop-up bar, plenty of free entertainment, music, retail and food stalls; it’s looking like the Freo Royale experience promises to be an action-packed and entertaining addition to summer’s frivolities!


autumn light


Our courtyard looking beautiful this (chilly) morning. Happy weekend, everyone.

Coochie CODA: Michael Phillips

Every Friday afternoon the studio meets together for something called Coochie CODA. It’s become our moment in the week to have a drink, eat some chips and discuss a project in detail. Sometimes it’s a CODA project, sometimes it’s something from the outside world!

Below is a recap of last friday’s Coochie CODA event where we were visited by Michael Phillips.


Michael Phillips is a Curtin graduate who has a keen interest and passion for the design build culture, both at a national and international level. Michael was the recipient of the Peter Hunt Travelling Scholarship during his graduating year. Winning the award allowed him to venture to the United States and survey community build projects run through academic curricula throughout mainly the southern half of the country.

SA Shelter SA Shelter Internal

Upon return Michael became a tutor at the University of South Australia’s School of Art, Architecture and Design. There he was fortunate to be involved in the long running design build program where he was able to successfully complete a single men’s housing shelter for a remote indigenous community. This process not only allowed him to understand a version of a design build program, but also pursue potential areas in which programs such as those run at UniSA could be improved, both on a programmatic level but also a pragmatic level.general assembly

A brief collection of observations made during his Coochie CODA presentation:

Michael presented a lot of varying design build projects, at different scales and levels of complexity. What was interesting to note was the rural/remote nature of all of these projects and how that in turn affected the vernacular or stylistic outcome of each.

steel construcionIn some regard, projects need to be sited in a rural or remote setting to allow for an ease in and simplicity to overall building site access and development. With this other issues are raised regarding the nature of material able to be used and construction method employed.

Michael noted that a lot of the design build projects in Australia that he had been involved with were predominantly of steel extrusions to allow ease of construction. It seemed that a lot of the projects that were seen by Michael in America not only had a prairie style aesthetic, (á la FLW) but were also mainly of timber construction, generally with concrete foundations. Therefore it is notable that there seemed to be a subconscious contextual material palette employed based on regionalism and mild national identity as understood through the built environment.

prairie shelter



Design Build programs are not a new venture, nor are they rare in quantity. However what endures from Michael’s discussion and his research and practice is a need to ensure Design Build programs become prevalent once more, especially in WA. He argues for and will hopefully become a leading voice for the need to ensure these programs occur both through academia and within the professional realm.

Not only do they provide a needed service for communities, they also greatly benefit the students/professionals involved, allowing in some instances for a more personal and often eclectic design outcome.

crazy facade

There’s nothing wrong with getting to know what happens outside of the office every now and then.

Thanks Michael!

Xmas is Coming!

CODA’s Christmas Elves made their annual appearance yesterday afternoon, busily wrapping and sticking, tying and stamping to ensure that our cards and presents made it to the post office in time. Here’s a peak at what went on (cover your eyes if you think you might be on the list!):

From everyone at CODA, have a safe and merry Christmas!

The best lunchtime ever

‘Oh my God, KOALA!’, rang loudly across the fruit and vegetable section of the Fremantle Markets today when Gian ran into his first koala.

His excitement was palpable:

The rest of us were excited too and enjoyed discovering the softness of its fur and knobbly-ness of its ears. Even Stephen managed to crack a smile despite revealing an almost pathological fear of black headed pythons:

It really was the best lunchtime ever, the perfect way to celebrate Sarah’s birthday and the end of the working week.

What happens on treasure hunt, stays on treasure hunt!

On the last Friday of July, CODA Studio took an afternoon away from the computers and our usual studio setting to roam Fremantle on an epic search for…


Our studio manager, Emma B, had very secretively arranged a “treasure hunt” that led us following cryptic clues resulting in a chance to visit some establishments, attractions and architecture around Fremantle that we would not have normally thought to visit.

The afternoon out was a fun way to experience some of the bars and clubs around Fremantle, the ferris wheel and a number of architecturally significant buildings that were scattered far and wide across the city.

What nobody could see coming (ok, we all saw it coming) is that it very soon turned into an extremely competitive hunt for the ‘treasure’, with teams racing between destinations, resorting to dirty tactics and downright cheating in order to win the ‘hunt’.

In what was a great day had by all, we would like to thank the local bars, clubs, shops, the ferris wheel and Sacha for their wonderful hospitality amid much confusion as teams of architects came running, breathless into their quiet afternoon social establishments before ordering a drink, taking a photo and running back out again!

We would also, as a studio, like to thank Emma B for organising the entire afternoon’s event single-handed. A heroic effort was made battling endless streams of photos, text messages and phone calls from teams as they rushed to get the next clue. All of which were managed whilst keeping topped up on champagne and making new friends!

Nobody did end up working out exactly what the treasure was, but everyone had a great time trying to figure it out. The winning team received some excellent prizes which were greatly appreciated after such a hectic competition.

The afternoon resulted in a fun night of socialising at South Fremantle’s “Who’s Your Mumma”, who were excellent hosts and provided great food and atmosphere for the evening… and a sore head or two to remember it by.

Bo Wong: Fremantle Markets Project

Over summer photographer Bo Wong spent her weekends at the Fremantle Markets documenting people as they emerged into the light from the darkened inside. On Saturday morning her exhibition of these images will open as part of the month-long FotoFreo festival. The opening starts at 11am and will be held at the Dark Star coffee shop near the fruit & veg section of the markets. Sounds to me like a pretty good way to start the weekend.

Pam Buchanan Family Centre Signs

The shiny new signs have gone up on site and looking great by day…




…can’t wait to see them at night when they light up!

Broome North wins at the 2011 PIA Awards

The Broome North Project was the recipient of the ‘Hard Won Victory’ prize at the recent Planning Institute of Australia (WA) Awards. Roberts Day for Landcorp accepted the award in conjunction with CODA, Creating Communities, GHD Australia, ICS Group, Sinclair Knight Merz & Whelans. 

In awarding the prize the Judging Panel said of the project, 

‘The level of consultation with the community and the partnership formed between local government and LandCorp are commendable, as is the development of locally relevant form based codes.
The project outputs addressed not only the traditional planning approval requirements, but also embraced the need to deliver affordable housing in a sensitive environment such as Roebuck Bay, together with challenging climatic conditions.
The Judging Panel recognises the resources and level of commitment by all stakeholders to deliver this project within the timeframe.’