The car first shaped the contemporary city through networks of roads and freeways, and is now shaping the world in relation to emission controls. Car engineering has led the development of technology that we now take for granted, and at the same time, contributed significantly to greenhouse gases.
CODA was one of four firms invited to present a design for new headquarters for Toyota WA. The building was to be situated in Kewdale, near Perth’s domestic airport, and needed to reflect Toyota’s universal commitment to Environmentally Sustainable Development.
Toyota recognises the impact of the vehicle on our fragile ecosystem and is an industry leader in the production of cleaner, greener cars. Their hybrid vehicles offer a driving experience without the environmental impact of traditional combustion engines. Implicit in the project brief was the requirement to resolve and articulate the tension between man, machine and nature.
CODA’s design for the Toyota WA Headquarters unites the act of driving and the infrastructure that makes it possible through the insertion of a cultivated garden. Building users are continuously engaged with both the mechanics of the building and the poetics of the internal garden.
The skin of the building tempers the environment through a series of passive and active systems and at the same time, delivers an iconic building form. The semi-transparent structure is lit at night by hundreds of aligned red and white LEDs, mimicking the blur of the lights of the cars whizzing by.
The base of the building is heavy, as if carved out of the landscape, concealing water and air-cooled labyrinths to assist in the natural ventilation of the building. The landscape surrounding the building is integrated into a WSUD proposal, reducing stormwater across a large hardstand site and the ‘heat island’ effect, which in turn will reduce the overall energy consumption of the building.
CODA has designed a project that is truly sustainable and innovative in its design, remarkable in appearance and complementary to the vision, values and aspirations of Toyota.