Groote Eylandt Archipelago

Over the last two years CODA have been working on an important project on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. By travelling regularly to the archipelago we have been able to engage directly with locals and community stakeholders, allowing us to develop a deep understanding of the complex cultural patterns underpinning each community.

CODA has been working with the Anindilyakwa Land Council and local indigenous corporations to prepare Housing Masterplans, Housing Guides and community infrastructure audits for their communities in Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island in East Arnhem Land. Our work will allow the ALC to be ‘project ready’ when funding agreements are reached between the local communities and both Territory and Federal governments.

Corallie Ferguson, CEO of GEBIE Aboriginal Corporation writes, ‘I was stunned by how easy it was for Kieran to be invited into several of the many different styles of homes in Angurugu, Umbakumba and Millyakburra communities. He and his team were welcomed everywhere they went. We would strongly support them as consultants of choice in complex, culturally specific and climate responsive urban design and place-planning.’

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. 

New Museum Project

CODA has been appointed to the position of Architectural Advisor to the Western Australian State Government for the New Museum Project, which will enhance the Perth Cultural Centre when it opens in 2020. The New Museum will display the State collection in contemporary and innovative ways, allowing visitors to share, explore and connect with the past, present and future.

The State Government has committed nearly $430 million to develop a New Museum for WA. This is one of the most significant museum redevelopments in the world today, and one of which all Western Australians should be incredibly proud. As it evolves, the Museum will play a part in redefining our city and our State, showcasing WA and its people to the world.

CODA assisted the WA Museum team to develop the Project Brief, investigating and implementing the latest techniques in museum design and visitor engagement to create a world-class Museum that will inspire the community for generations to come.

We are now working with the State to ensure that OMA and Hassell’s winning design adheres to the exacting standards of our brief.

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SECCA Office

secca is a non-profit organisation designed to support people with disabilities, in their efforts to learn about human relationships, sexuality and sexual health across their lifespan. CODA were engaged to provide a schematic design for a new office fit out for secca, currently located in the City West Lotteries House in West Perth.

The proposal aspires to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for staff and visitors. The intent was to utilize warm tones and natural materials to create an inspiring workplace and an inviting, private and safe space for patients.

A plywood hood wraps around the office, providing much needed storage space for the staff of the organisation.

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.

Cottesloe Public Amenities

As part of the Town of Cottesloe Foreshore Redevelopment, CODA has been engaged in the design of new public facilities located on the northern end of the beachfront.

The key objectives of the project are to enhance the overall Cottesloe beachfront experience for visitors and the local community, to demonstrate the quality contribution that a development could make in setting a standard for the beachfront and precinct, and to illustrate an appropriate built typology suitable to the site, its surrounds and Cottesloe.

As a linear intervention, the design acts as a device that brings order to the scattered array of objects that exist along the foreshore, whilst keeping the form minimal in order to maintain and enhance the view towards the horizon.

The main structure consists of modular blocks that house the toilets and a small kiosk. These can be ‘cut to length’ and are framed by a sequence of multifunctional columns that define the perimeter and extent of the proposed facility. The columns help to define new spaces as well as becoming lights at night.

The glowing columns support the playful ribbon roof that floats above.  The proposed roof undulates to reveal colour and form to what is a predominantly rectilinear proposal.

A series of sliding screens provide privacy from the street, protection from the wind and seating nooks during the day, creating a flexible space that is easily surveyed and highly responsive to the chosen site as part of the greater Cottesloe Beachfront Precinct.

Karratha Super Clinic

Through the Federal Department of Health and Ageing our client, the Pilbara Health Network, received funding to construct and manage a Super Clinic in Karratha. The facility acts as a hub for General Practitioner, Allied Health, Mental Health and ancillary health services for the region, as well as providing educational programmes and clinical training specialising in regional health.

In addition to enabling best practice health care facility management, the design also needed to respond to the cultural values of indigenous clients; particularly the relationship to enclosed spaces and incorporating an understanding of the cultural traditions for privacy. It needed to also consider the social impacts of FIFO workers and remote living, creating a space that could service both user groups.

Our design response is regionally specific, responding to the harsh climatic conditions of the Pilbara through a self-shading strategy made up of deep verandahs, colonnades, balconies, awnings and screens. These features create spaces to be outside but also help reduce the load on internal mechanical air conditioning.

Externally, the low-lying concrete form of the building is interposed with colour, texture and abstract shapes, creating a dynamic building when viewed from the car.  A traced pattern along the facade of the building visually connects it with the hills behind.

Internally, a gentle palette of colours and materials help to create an environment of warmth and safety. Effort has been made to create physical and visual connections to the outdoor environment whereever possible.  In the procedure rooms, bold blocks of colour temper the examination experience and also find their way into corridors, acting as important wayfinding markers.

The building is a playful injection into Karratha’s town centre, responding to the specifics of the place and providing necessary medical services within a welcoming and safe environment.

Tom Fisher House

Tom Fisher House is a new acute homeless night shelter in the inner-city suburb of Mount Lawley. The 10-bed shelter provides chronically homeless people with safe and supervised overnight accommodation, support services, ablution and kitchen facilities, and basic first aid.

In order to maintain an anonymous address, away from public scrutiny, and to allay the fears of nervous neighbours, Tom Fisher House sits at the back of the block, behind a non-descript commercial building, also designed by us.

Planning developed through an intensive process of briefing and questioning to get an insight into both the needs of the consumers and the challenges for staff.

Ten bedrooms – each with ensuite, including two doubles – line the south-eastern boundary, with administration and support services on the other side of the communal spaces that sit between. It is in these spaces that we sought to exploit the opportunities for light and volume afforded by the reinterpretation of a saw tooth roof.

The staged entry sequence to the building is internally focused and allows for secure triage upon arrival. The interior is both warm and light, with open views at both ends providing visual relief but also a sense of security and safety. Within the covered outdoor courtyards there are a range of spaces, including custom-designed dog kennels, a fireplace and even a space to sleep outside if this is the preference.

In this project we sought to expand the brief and seek out spaces in which people can connect. The need for shelter is critical but so is providing a place to be welcomed with dignity and without judgement.

Barrack Square

The Barrack Square project centres on the desire to provide high quality design that will form a backdrop to increasing the activation of the area surrounding the Bell Tower during the first stages of the Elizabeth Quay development. Through extensive consultation with the client and a collaborative working relationship with all consultants we were able to deliver an appropriate design outcome, within a limited budget and on a tight timeframe.

Responding to the existing elements of the site and the construction language of the nearby civil works, we carefully wrapped safety rope around the palm trees creating a place marker that moves through and activates the entire site. Fairy lights have been strung through the existing large canopy trees, and a playful pink pergola has been constructed over a new deck area. Soakwells reimagined as giant planters and seating complete the scene.

Live performance, music, long table dinners, pop up markets or simply allowing your children enjoy the new playground space are all easy and possible in this space.

Bennett Street Housing

CODA was one of three practices invited to provide a Concept Design Proposal for Foundation Housing’s new Bennett Street Affordable Housing project. The project will provide hostel and affordable key worker apartment accommodation in the inner east end of the Perth CBD.

Based on our experience in this type of accommodation, our scheme was underpinned by the following four principles: access to daylight, fresh air, robust and sustainable materials and a real sense of community. We believe that these principles should form the heart of any design, but have particular relevance to Foundation Housing, its clients and tenants and the people who work for the organisation delivering its services.

Our scheme proposed a range of activated street front uses such as caretaker offices and interview rooms, and a ‘sunken lounge’ on the upper level that engaged directly with Bennett Street. A combined first floor community area included a Men’s Shed, BBQ areas and a variety of scaled spaces for socialisation. An important link between the laundry spaces, kitchen and cooking education areas was developed, along with the careful provision of stores and separate access points for apartment residents and hostel tenants. A visitation apartment was also proposed to provide a space for tenants to interact with their children in a safe and secure environment.

Looking to minimise site time and to maximise space efficiencies, we proposed a 16-storey apartment tower using the Unitised Building (UB) modular system of construction. This method not only looks great but is cost, resource and time effective. As our imagery demonstrates, the building’s shell was to have been punctuated with an engaging and uplifting palette of coloured, north facing balconies – one for each tenancy.

It was a considered and bold scheme that we believe would have provided a memorable, pragmatic and substantial piece of residential architecture for inner-city Perth.