Wheatstone Residential Housing

The Chevron-operated Wheatstone project, one of Australia’s largest resource projects, is currently under construction on the Pilbara coast.

Located at Ashburton, 12 kilometres west of Onslow, the foundation phase of the project will consist of two liquefied natural gas trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 MTPA and a domestic gas plant.

As part of its commitment to ensuring that a portion of the Wheatstone workforce reside permanently in Onslow, Chevron has engaged CODA to design 50 residential houses on a subdivision to be developed by Landcorp.

Whilst the project is still in its infancy, it is intended that these houses will provide accommodation for families to enable them to be part of the tight-knit community of Onslow. Our familiarity with the Pilbara will be essential to us realising Chevron’s desire for a housing development that is sustainable, climatically responsive and that references Onslow’s established architectural language.

MG/GT Administration Building

The MG/GT community facility and administration building in Kununurra is shared by the Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation and the Gelganyem Trust, two traditional land owner groups in the eastern Kimberley. The two-level building is used by the staff of both organisations and by the community that they serve.

A requirement of the clients was to ensure that the building created a welcoming presence and was open both to the environment and community. We engaged in an extensive process of stakeholder engagement and invited elders from both communities to develop the schematic design and approve the final design, ensuring a truly inclusive and supported outcome.

An important first move was to place the offices upstairs, creating a shaded public space on the ground floor for people to gather informally or meet with the officers of the organisations. Upstairs the internal finishes have been selected with an eye to the desire for a less corporate space and to continue the dialogue of an inviting environment.

From the street, a ‘green screen’ constructed from vertically aligned painted steel angles provides cohesiveness to the two volumes of the building. During the day this screen creates a shaded, non air-conditioned space to be used for meetings outside of the offices; at night, the screen glows like a beacon providing a striking silhouette visible in the town.

The building’s materials and finish are necessarily tough. To enable the building to better cope with Kununurra’s climate, and the heavy user wear that it will receive, steel and fibre cement is used extensively as an external cladding. These robust materials are continually tempered by the use of colour throughout the project.

This project received an Architecture Award in the Commercial Category of the 2013 AIA Awards.

Women’s Health and Family Services

Women’s Health and Family Services is a not-for-profit organisation providing medical and clinical services, counseling, information, community talks and workshops, referral and outreach to women in Western Australia. WHFS was the first women’s health centre established in WA and has been providing health care to women for over thirty years.

After years of fundraising and bureaucratic hurdles, CODA were engaged as architects to realise a new facility on land seeded to the organisation by the East Perth Redevelopment Authority. The site provided many challenges from the outset: 2 Queen Anne cottages, a heritage warehouse and an electrical substation on a corner block of 887sqm. These restrictions demanded careful planning and a deep understanding of the range of services offered by the organisation to exploit overlaps and minimise the amount of underutilised spaces.

Externally the building uses a subdued palette of familiar and domestic materials. Alongside its existing heritage fabric, face brickwork, steel and recycled timber embue this building with a domestic, approachable quality. Colour is the critical binding element throughout the project interior. It works to unite 3 previously separate buildings and provides the diverse groups that it services with ease of movement throughout the building. The colour palette is light, bright and cheerful, particularly when combined with the warmth of the exposed natural materials. It is unlike an expected clinical environment of a medical and counseling centre, and instead is a space that presents as inclusive and uplifting.

In 2011, the project successfully achieved a 4 Star Green Star rating and in July 2012 it received a Commercial Architecture Award at the Australian Institute of Architecture Awards (WA Chapter).

Pam Buchanan Family Centre

This project was won through invited tender in October 2009 when CODA was selected by the Karratha K2020 panel to provide architectural services for a new family centre at Baynton West. The Pam Buchanan Family Centre was commissioned in response to the change in focus of mining companies and government towards the creation of permanent communities in mining towns of the North-West.

Built in a category D cyclone zone, the building responds to the dramatic shifts in weather conditions from intense heat to torrential rain and the very real possibility of cyclones. These extreme climatic conditions mean that people largely move around by car, rely heavily on air-conditioning and minimise daytime outdoor activity.

The various elements of the building are ringed via a continuous roof creating deep, covered outdoor play spaces and a sheltered interior courtyard. The courtyard is activated through the passage of pedestrians from one function to another. The material palette was selected based on environment, cyclonic rating and the capacity to be easily constructed on site and within budget. The Colorbond external skin of the building provides a dramatic backdrop for the feature cut outs and courtyard interior.

Colour brings light and surprise to the exterior of the building and works to build a lush constructed interior to the central courtyard.  From the street the painted roof cut outs whimsically signal points of entry and activity.  Within the protected courtyard space luscious greens cool and enliven, creating a complete visual break from the striking red pindan of the surrounding environment.

We believe the key move toward a sustainable environment is creating a building that will encourage families to live in Karratha. This project demonstrates that it is possible to enjoy life outside, away from air conditioning, through the creation of large, protected and ventilated outdoor spaces.  Within these spaces families play, talk and connect with their community.

The Pam Buchanan Family Centre received a commendation in the Public Architecture category of the 2012 AIA Awards (WA).

Perry Lakes Sales Office

CODA were engaged by Landcorp to design a transportable sales office for the Perry Lakes Housing Estate in Floreat. Responding to a prescribed brief, CODA was able to deliver an innovative outcome that fulfilled the client’s objectives in an attractive and timely manner.

The sales office has ‘touched the ground lightly’ through its use of environmentally responsible materials and construction techniques. The use of carbon-heavy steel was minimised through the engineering of a lighter, more efficient floor system. It’s envisaged that this floor system will be able to be incorporated into building practice across WA, reducing the need to transport large sections of steel vast distances.

The Perry Lakes Sales Office was recently awarded an HIA WA Greensmart Partnership Award.

Toyota Competition

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.

CODA Studio

Our new studio re-pitches the practice from “home office” to medium size  in the heart of Fremantle.

It was really important to us to maintain and enhance the warmth and familiarity of the previous studio space whilst creating a flexible, open, dynamic workspace using natural, non-traditional materials.

From the outset we established that all new insertions should be recyclable and removable at the end of the project life without damage to the building.

The project demonstrates that it’s possible to create a sophisticated professional workspace, moving away from highly manufactured materials toward a robust natural palette that seeks out texture, warmth and celebrates imperfection. This is not a token gesture but forms the logic for the entire fit out.

Basic construction materials are reframed expressing both their materiality and assembly. The new timber stair binds the two levels together, spatially and materially, with the open plan workspace upstairs and the lower level given over to social spaces for meeting and amenity.

New ply insertions are read against the backdrop of the existing warehouse. The stair edge thickens on the upper level to house the job files, maintaining views over and through the stairwell as you circulate about the upper level.

Colour plays an important and subtle role in binding together the elements of the new studio, contrasting and enhancing the warmth of the exposed materials.

We believe that contemporary workspaces should invite individual participation in the creation of the work environment. The studio creates a backdrop for these choices, allowing lighting levels and thermal comfort to be assessed individually. Though the sourcing of vintage furniture we were able to reduce the number of resources required to complete the project.

Plasterboard and laminate were not specified in the project; even the desks and storage were fabricated from ply and steel.

Additionally recycled elements such as the barn door, concrete cisterns and vintage furniture were incorporated into the design. This has the dual benefit of achieving a more sustainable project but also embedding a sense of history through their tactility and imperfection.

In 2012, this project received an Interior Architecture commendation at the AIA Awards and the Australian Interior Design Award for Best of State (WA) Commercial Design.

Move Apartments

The Match Group engaged CODA to provide Design Development services for an entry level apartment project in North Coogee which had a previous Development Approval for 81 dwellings. CODA completed the design review within 10 weeks and most significantly, increased the number of dwellings by 25 units to 106. The development will now be comprised of 57 single, 44 double and 5 three-bedroom apartments. This change in density was formally approved by the City of Cockburn (through a revised Structure Plan and DAP amended by CODA).

Underlying this project was a desire to capture and reflect the post-industrial landscape of North Coogee and the greater Fremantle area. This was achieved through the use of robust, context appropriate materials that ensure longevity in the face of an often harsh, coastal environment. Working with only a handful of materials such as face brick, exposed steelwork and cladding, has anchored the building firmly within Fremantle’s established architectural framework. We have also given the CODA brick (designed for the award winning Think Brick competition) a guernsey on feature walls throughout the project!

Various passive, sustainable initiatives like improved cross ventilation, dual aspect apartments and allocated space for visitors’ bicycles have been incorporated into the design wherever possible. An outdoor room, or extended balcony, becomes a focal point in each apartment and acts as a continuation of the indoor living spaces. Whilst activating the building from the street front, these balconies contribute also to a sense of community within this unique development.

East Port 5

Won through an invited two-stage design competition.

Situated an hour south of Perth, adjacent to the booming region of Mandurah, East Port 5 is the last remaining stage of the Port Bouvard development. Fifty-nine carefully crafted and luxurious apartments are located in an urban cluster on an island designed by us to allow all apartments to have northern facing open space, balconies and views to two major bodies of water, the inner and outer canals and the Peel Estuary behind.

The apartments are split into several smaller scale buildings that respond to the site in differing ways, creating a village feel and enabling urban scale public open space interventions. A sculptural caretakers house (also designed by CODA) sits as guardian to the inner canal and watches over the Entry Bridge.

Bulgarra Community Centre

In October 2009, CODA was selected by the K2020 panel in Karratha to provide architectural services for the new Bulgarra Community Centre. This new community use building brings together the functions of a community hall and general-purpose meeting room with a playgroup and occasional care facilities.

Our proposal represented a new standard for community architecture both in Karratha, and the Pilbara as a whole. The scheme combines a comprehensive response to the brief and the unique climatic constraints of the region. The wrapping the building in a screen of perforated metal has created a striking iconic image grounded in practicality and innovation.

Most significantly, this project continues our commitment to regionally specific and climate sensitive architectural outcomes that will help to create memorable and beautiful spaces for the benefit of the community.