A quick look at recently completed work!



We’ve been really busy lately… and so has Peter Bennetts!

Here’s a run down of our recently completed work:


We loved the challenge of working within the heritage buildings at MLC creating greater privacy and a home-like environment for girls living away from home for the first time.

At the Junior Year’s campus at St Stephen’s School Duncraig we transformed an underutilised atrium into a playful, meandering library and multi-use space for group activities. The new space is flexible and child-driven in line with the progressive pedagogy of the school.


We’ve wrapped up construction of the new Super Clinic in Karratha providing comprehensive health care to the local community. Our design embraced the opportunities that the unique culture of the Pilbara making it a truly inclusive community facility.


Tom Fisher House in Northbridge provides safe short-term accommodation, a laundry, kitchen and even kennels in the heart of our city. Importantly by including outreach services clients can access the support services they would otherwise struggle to connect with.


The Claisebrook Design Community is an exciting project on the fringes of Perth city. An existing sawtooth roof warehouse and double story office has been transformed into a series of functional and flexible multi-use co-working spaces for creators and makers. We can vouch for the great coffee at Dr Claus!


Our project at Elizabeth Quay has been a big part of the office for the last four years. It’s a building that feels like its part of the public space, equally valuing each view too and from it.

It mediates between the Bell Tower through the choice of metallic screen, its relationship to the new ground plane through its curved form and a desire to reference the great Australian pub through its tile cladding.

Feeding the #ideasboom at the Claisebrook Design Community


The insertion of a playful façade applied over a light industrial warehouse on Gladstone Street, near the Claisebrook Train Station, provides a small clue of the inner workings of this new ‘accelerator’ start-up-business workspace.

Co-operatives and collectives have long had a role contributing to the vibrancy of urban environments with what they create and where they work. The Claisebrook Design Community project as a facilitator to the ‘maker-doers’ expands on this role, contributing a sense of vibrancy and innovation not only to its occupants but to the local environment as a place making project and a connected hub. A range of interconnected spaces are made visible; the public is invited in with the lure of colour and coffee, and the space unfolds as a series of dynamic and flexible areas, providing a hub of innovation and ideas.

Lines and materials of the saw-tooth shell are borrowed to define spaces and decorate surfaces. A familiar industrial palette, a signifier of making, is made brighter with colour, pattern and light. Interactions of space are expressed with exposed timber framing, raw plywood, cyclone mesh fencing, gates & industrial scaled sliding doors. This new insertion breaks down the scale of the warehouse to pick up the granular machinations of the brief and the occupants this building houses. A space of innovation, ideas and creativity. A connected hub of activity, this project provides communal working and meeting spaces, an open event space, and individual working pods.

 As the federal government embraces a policy of innovation and creativity, attention is once again placed on the local, the small scale activities that might sustain us economically. The Claisebrook Design Community project feeds the #ideasboom, and strategically activates the environment and neighbourhood. In this instance a collective is provided with an armature; the ‘maker-doers’ can develop their business ideas in to a workable model, in a space that encourages ideas, collaboration and innovation.

Karratha Central HealthCare Achieves Practical Completion

We are so pleased to say that the Karratha Central Healthcare clinic achieved Practical Completion this week!

Delayed ever so slightly by Tropical Cyclone Stan last week, the contractor DORIC has built a bespoke health care facility that caters to the specific needs of the Pilbara region.  Our briefing and design responded to the cultural values of indigenous clients; particularly how they experience enclosed spaces and the understanding of cultural traditions for privacy. This is reflected in the open, bright and interconnected interior and exterior spaces. Movement and patient waiting areas have been carefully crafted to allow for cultural obligations, including avoidance of related male and female indigenous clients. 

SC_04The building design responds to the harsh hot, dry climate conditions of the Pilbara employing a self-shading strategy for protection from the sun to create shading form of deep verandahs, colonnades, balconies, awnings or screens. 

Michelle Blakeley, CODA’s Project Architect sent us this quick snap as she sat in the entry lobby writing up her notes for the project completion yesterday – we all agree it’s looking fantastic! and we can’t wait to see it in full swing soon.



Left to Right:

Doric General Manager Lance Van Drunick, Karratha Central Healthcare Chief Executive Jo Halpin, Pilbara Health Network Board Chairwoman Narda Schneider and CODA Senior Architect, Michelle Blakeley. Picture: Tom Zaunmayr

Urban Impacts: CODA Studio

The 2013 Interstate Speaker series held at Tusculum in Sydney focused on the theme “urban impacts.” Invited presenters were asked to discuss projects within the realm of their work and the work of other architects in the context of their respective city.

CODA’s Emma Williamson presented the third talk of this four part series on the 13th August 2013.

At a time when Perth and the greater state is undergoing a major shift spurred on by continual population growth and urban sprawl, the needs for density, community, activity and well articulated architecture and urban design moves are back on the agenda.

With the use of the 1980’s WA vehicle number plate slogan “WA – State of Excitement” Emma presented three CODA projects alongside three pivotal urban defining projects by Donaldson and Warn, Kerry Hill and ARM.


The argument was simple;

  1. The ability for architecture to benefit the lives of many rather than a few.
  2. The ability to work behind the scenes to engage with the way precincts and towns are formed and revitalised.

Emma presented these six projects against the backdrop of community, density and activity. The lecture cleverly connected these notions against the respective projects discussed, articulating how the design moves have either strengthened or created the opportunities and potentials for urban impact.

The moral of the story here was; CODA are small players in a much bigger picture, but we are happy to be having conversations, collaborating and working on projects that will continue to contribute to the urban life of our city.


Tusculum is home to the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.
The Urban Impacts lecture series will conclude on the 8th of October with the final lecture presented by Andrew Maynard.


Link To CODA Tusculum Lecture Article:

Foundation Housing Officially Open

CODA’s project for Foundation Housing, Building for Diversity, has officially been opened as part of a statewide initiative to increase the availability of affordable housing. The Newcastle Street mixed use development provides much needed housing for low income earners wishing to live and work in Perth’s inner city. Minister of Housing Troy Buswell, did an excellent job of cutting the official ribbon and charming us with his excellent speech.


Doing it with Men in Sheds

CODA collaborated with the Subiaco arm of Men in Sheds to complete an exciting transformation of a waiting room at Princess Margaret Hospital. The Community Newspaper recently featured the accompanying article which celebrates collaboration and the restorative potential of good design!

CODA featured in the latest edition of Architecture Australia

In the May/June edition of Architecture Australia, Philip Goldswain, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts at the University of Western Australia, delivers a critique of two of CODA’s most recent projects, Women’s Health and Family Services and Building for Diversity, Foundation Housing.

Both projects occupy the same block in Northbridge and together they represent what makes this evolving location so interesting: a diverse user-base and a beautiful rendering of old and new architecture.

Goldswain concludes his 11-page peroration with the following: ‘these are difficult jobs with compromised sites and tiny budgets. These buildings show that with skill and careful consideration, talented architects can bring forth a humanity and generosity to be enjoyed by the users of their buildings. They also illustrate how a rich piece of urban fabric might be created through the clever engagement of existing fragments and new architecture.’

Photo Shoot with Robert Frith

A few weeks ago we invited Robert Frith to photograph our recently completed building for Women’s Health and Family Services in Newcastle St, Northbridge.

The photographs are beautiful. Robert is renowned for his architectural photography and his ability to capture the passage of light through space is certainly evident in this shoot. Some images almost have an ethereal quality to them and we’re pleased to share them with you here.