Inner-city Fremantle music venue

CODA led the schematic re-imagining of a much-loved community music venue in Fremantle. Our design accentuates the existing heritage elements of the building, whilst introducing new areas of activation, including an alfresco deck that addresses the street edge.

The design creates three thematic areas, each responding and reinterpreting part of the building’s history. In the main space, its rich history as a “drill hall” is played out in the repetition of delicate linear elements that define the spaces over the bar. Custom, mobile furniture was designed to accommodate the varying numbers of patrons this venue will attract.

In the lesser hall, its history as a garage and armoury is reflected through strong painted graphics and a reinterpretation of the gun cupboard. As a smaller space a more refined approach to the materials and detailing create an intimate, quiet feel.

The outdoor spaces have been reinvented as the “backyard” of the project. Despite fronting the street, these spaces are informal and flexible, allowing for food trucks and small impromptu performances.

K2K Urban Design Competition

CODA were one of four finalists in the prestigious K2K International Urban Design Competition, which sought to imagine a new vision for the town centres of Kingsford and Kensington in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Leading a competition team comprising of Realm Studios, Ian MacRae, Craig Burton and GTA, we devised a proposal that wove the rich story of Kensington and Kingsford  together with blueprint for a resilient future.

Our response was structured around seven key ideas:

  • A celebration of the history, context and character of place
  • A 10-fold increase in cyclists, making the K2K the safest and easiest to navigate corridor in Sydney by bike
  • Active, high quality public spaces, such as Anzac Parade, each reflecting community aspirations, including the removal of two lanes of traffic in Kensington along Anzac Parade.
  • An ecologically sound environment for the local community – more open to biodiversity, less anthropocentric
  • A mix of uses and activities to energise the local economy and provide a range of accommodation choices
  • Adaptable, flexible mix of public and private spaces to unleash spare capacity
  • A rich set of interconnections laden with visual variety, ‘accidents’ in the street pattern and diverse building types that respond to the pace of walkers, cyclists and commuters.

During the competition phase, our team ran two intensive on site design workshops at an abandoned Chinese restaurant in Kingsford, codename: Lucky Wong’s.

We commend the Randwick City Council for using the competition as a vehicle to place conversations about design at the forefront of the revitalisation process. 

Charter Hall Perth

CODA worked with Australia’s largest property group, Charter Hall, to design a new workspace for their growing Perth-based team. An identifiable style had been established amongst the organisation’s eastern state’s offices for activity-based working environments using a sophisticated palette of natural materials and light. CODA were keen to continue this standard in the Perth workspace, but at the same time reflect Charter Hall’s new West Australian location through colour and material choice.

The new workspace is set over a single floor of an established building in the heart of Perth’s CBD. In keeping with the desire for a dynamic and active work space, CODA devised a series of spaces that allow for either collaborative work, individual work or private meetings. Staff have a degree of independence over their working environment through desks that raise and lower according to need.

A social space runs along the window edge, playfully referred to as ‘the deck’, bringing an informal, almost domestic quality to this aspect of the office. Here staff can comfortably eat their lunch, socialise and even work if they choose. A sense of autonomy is prevalent throughout the entirety of this project.

A distinctly West Australian colour palette imbeds this project firmly in its context. Textured natural wood finishes and smooth, golden cabinetry is punctured by shades of sea blue and earthy red tones. Renowned furniture designer, Nathan Day, was commissioned to make an entry desk out of local timbers. Contemporary wall graphics further reinforce Charter Hall’s signature branding, whilst hanging pots and ample plant-life provide a playful and softening insertion into the space.

Manning Estate Upgrade

CODA has been engaged as the estate architect for Manning Estate in Fremantle. The Estate comprises of a collection of buildings occupying the south side of High St Mall, starting on William Street, wrapping around the Mall and finishing on Market St. 

Our work so far includes a concept for a food and beverage venue opposite Town Hall and another venue near Paddy Troy Mall, lighting to the historic first storey façade at night, and a tiling upgrade to Manning Arcade. Most excitingly, we are involved in the upgrade of the Majestic Theatre space above the High St Mall, unused since the 1920s. This fantastic, underutilised space has potential to contribute to the activation and diversity of central Fremantle. 

Our work ties in to the recent upgrades to High St Mall, with the aim to make the Mall a more vibrant and activated space, during the day and night.

Proposed Tavern and Entertainment Venue

A speculative design for a food, beverage, arts and music venue at one of Fremantle’s iconic waterside locations.

The design improves the overall amenity of the area by integrating the outdoor spaces with the public realm, providing seamless approach to the decking, landscaping and an entertainment zone. Much consideration was given to ensuring that the design was sympathetic to the the cultural and historical significance of the site.

A roofed alfresco dining and bar area adds another layer of diversity to Fremantle’s current entertainment options, providing waterfront, family friendly spaces in the heart of the city. Play equipment for children and a curated selection of interpretive artwork add to the attraction for families with young children, as well as visitors to the port town.

Lotterywest House City West

CODA has worked with Lotterywest and Foundation Housing to analyse the accommodation needs of the tenants of an inner-city lotteries house located in West Perth. We worked with the client to determine the potential for redevelopment at the site so that existing and new organisations operating within the lotteries house have the opportunity to expand. 

We used statistical information, online surveys and comprehensive consultation exercises (one-to-one interviews with all 18 tenants) to gather information to determine the best way forward for redevelopment. Our report translated this data into a format that the organisations within the lotteries house could assess and implement immediately.

The aim of the project was to provide more amenity for current and future tenants, whilst increasing the flexibility of office space and activating the site by involving the community. Two concepts were proposed, one maximising on office space and the other adding a mixed use residential component of up to 9 stories to the site.As a result of our investigations, Lotterywest has set up a new department to review all of their lotteries houses in order to improve the not-for-profit office accommodation model.

Claisebrook Design Community

CODA transformed an existing saw tooth warehouse and nondescript double-storey office into a functional and flexible space for co-working and entrepreneurship. Located in a curious quarter of East Perth, marked by a mix of turn of the century terraces houses and light industry, this project cements the area’s reputation as an urban village by engaging directly with the community through the café on the street.

CODA’s approach to the design was to introduce a series of intertwining uses that together create a connected hub of activity. At the front of the building sits a co-office space comprised of separate offices and a boardroom. Within the larger warehouse space playful working pods create areas for individual work. An open event space, defined by a circular red carpet and dramatic light scoop, and a cafe link these spaces to the broader community creating a dynamic and porous interface.

Aesthetically, the design draws inspiration from the artwork of Jeffrey Smart and his celebration of the gritty interface between freeways, transport and human existence. Industrial materials have been overlaid with strong primary-coloured graphics; exposed timber frames have been paired with cyclone mesh fencing and warehouse shelving.

The building has been reimagined as a contemporary warehouse – designed for the production of ideas.

Elizabeth Quay Kiosk 6

CODA was selected by the MRA to provide full architectural services for the development of one of Perth’s waterfront kiosk for the new Elizabeth Quay project, which seeks to re-engage the city with the Swan River.

Our proposal sits at the crossing point of the axes from both the city and Riverside Drive to the waterfront and the newly formed island within the Quay. The kiosk will offer a dining experience over three levels optimizing the waterside location and ensuring activation from morning to night. The organic curvaceous form is wrapped in a gold coloured mesh screen providing a landmark building that combines shade, transparency and brings a touch of glamour to the unique location.

The project exemplifies CODA’s ability to provide a sophisticated architectural response to a key location within Perth’s public realm, supporting the precinct vision and integrating with the masterplan design. The iconic building will have a civic focus that enhances the unique experience that this site offers.

Elizabeth Quay was officially opened on January 29th 2016 as a unique and exciting destination for Perth, and a venue for  public events such as PIAF and the Perth Fringe Festival.

Urban Hotel Proposal

CODA was invited to present an interior concept design for a new, boutique hotel in Perth. Our scheme responds to the client’s desire for a unique and youthful approach to hotel design, proposing a bold oasis in a newly revitalised urban setting.

From the outset, CODA envisioned this project as a renovation of a ruin, with bold new insertions, complimenting or highlighting the rawness of the building’s shell. Our vision was to create a surprise, something ‘otherworldly’ and inspired by the mid-century resorts and hotels that you might find in LA or Palm Springs. The interiors integrated local artwork, materials and design aesthetic to create a hotel that would feel uniquely West Australian.

Our scheme for the public areas was highly sculptural, featuring a vaulted ceiling and sweeping ribbon to connect the various zones; canopies and staircases were created in its path. Inspired by Luis Barragan, the public areas were bought to life through rich and vibrant colour that would be enhanced by the intensity of Perth’s sun.

The guest rooms were designed to be flexible, functional and to celebrate the beauty of natural materials in combination with whimsical colour and texture. The modular furniture elements could be arranged and adjusted to suit various room types and users. As with the public areas, the rooms were designed to be joyful and memorable places to stay.

Kings Square Design Competition

CODA was one of three practices shortlisted on the international Kings Square design competition, initiated by the City of Fremantle to create a new civic centre for the town.

Our team worked passionately to develop a scheme that elegantly references the past whilst elevating Fremantle’s central heart to a place of urban connections and civic delight. Our scheme  created a magical interior, a place of shade, play and activity within a joyous and colourful Urban Room. We saw the Urban Room to be a place of civic and community pride; a space to hold events day and night, all year round, under cover and away from the fickleness of the weather.

Our scheme rejected generic formalism and delivered a nuanced and urban response to Fremantle’s proud cultural, social and built heritage that was both a celebration of the past and an evocation of a brighter future. The building was a bricolage, its many fragments operating as links to the fine grain of the City, and reinforcing the townscape of Fremantle with its thick walls and inner walls of repose.

Importantly, we sought to activate and energise the surrounding streets and Kings Square by locating the library and many important community and council services onto all three street elevations. We located the library over two levels, with outdoor reading rooms, children’s activity spaces on the ground floor, along with a prominent home for the City’s Local History section over the City Desk. We also suggested that FOUND, the Fremantle Art Centre’s retail outlet could locate a satellite store in the building, promoting the creative industries of Fremantle to a wider audience.

One of Fremantle’s greatest assets is its engaged community, and our scheme delivered a vibrant and beautiful town civic centre that spoke as much to them as it did to the requirements of local government. By adjoining a new foyer and terrace we not only connected the Town Hall to the Urban Room, but allowed the community to interact and observe the workings of the council directly. We strongly believe that the council’s elected members should be part of its community, open and accessible to the broader public, with the inner workings of the council process ‘on display’ to its constituents.

We are proud of our design work and its celebration of everything that makes Freo such a unique place in the world.