Notre Dame University’s School of Education Interiors

An opaque screen, designed for Notre Dame University in Fremantle, divides a cavernous room into two more useful spaces. The building’s decorative, heritage features are referenced through the form the screen but at the same time its steel detailing nods to a more modern Fremantle.

This project demonstrates the potential of one, clear design idea to totally transform the way in which a space is used with minimal cost and without damaging the building fabric. Small but impactful projects like this provide unifying links through the disparate urban campus, creating moments of joy and beauty for students and staff.

Perth College Boarding House Refurbishment

CODA is working with Perth College to re-imagine their Boarding House, which provides a home away from home for more than 100 girls in Years 7 – 12. Guiding our design of Stage One has been a desire to offer the girls a more dynamic and contemporary experience, providing flexible spaces that can accommodate both social activities and places to just hang out.

With girls from across the breadth of the state, we divided the spaces into three colour palettes inspired by the northern, centre and southern regional landscape. We used artworks from each of these regions to inform our selection and to express the diversity of the West Australian landscape.

An open plan kitchen, lounge and dining room has been created to form the heart of the boarding house. Custom modular lounges and larger spaces for cooking and eating provide comfortable, homely places for girls to connect.

A key move has been to improve connections between the landscape and internal spaces. Large sliding doors open to an enclosed courtyard, which has been elevated by the introduction of playful ground treatments, a sophisticated pergola, festoon lightings and oversized planters. These improvements will increase the functionality of the courtyard, creating a space that will be used for everything from outdoor movies to parties.

Furniture has been selected that is both beautiful and affordable. With an extremely tight budget, this project is being delivered without any increase to the overall footprint of the school. Construction of Stage One was completed at the end of May 2017 and the remaining two stages will follow shortly after.


Murdoch University Mandurah Campus


CODA was engaged to revitalize a series of underutilized rooms and non-descript transit spaces across Murdoch University’s Mandurah campus. The project was initiated as a way of creating a stronger campus identity and offering more to the (mostly mature-age) student experience. CODA’s approach was to extend the use of each space to become places for connection and engagement.

CODA acted as curator and designer, selecting artworks from the University’s impressive collection. In the primary transit corridor, mid-century, Eastern European posters inform a palette of navy, grey, burnt orange and yellow. Plywood is used to form individual work stations and loose upholstered furniture allows the space to be occupied in different permutations.

An undercover area at the rear of the campus has been radically transformed from a dull, prison-like environment to a joyful, welcoming space for social activity. Built-in furniture now divides the space into smaller, more useable spaces. Colour is used to create a strong perimeter, whilst painted carpets have also been used to demarcate space and add a sense of playfulness. A large skylight above the long table shifts the internal volume of the space from shed to room.

An adjacent small lounge, suitable for private study or quiet group work, has been transformed using a saturated palette of deep pink, red and shades of green and blue. Finally, an underutilised foyer and courtyard has been transformed into a pop-up cafe using tiles and bold paintwork.


St. Stephen’s Primary School Upgrade

St Stephen’s Primary School in Duncraig describes itself as ‘a modern, forward thinking school, taking education to a new inspiring level’. The school campus is made up of a number of 90’s brick buildings that do not reflect the school’s current aspirational desire to implement a more progressive pedagogy.

CODA worked with the school to find ways to update it with minimal cost and no structural alterations. The project consists of two distinct key moves, the first of which was to relocate the library to an existing atrium space, allowing it to meander through a more dynamic environment. The old library was converted into an open plan ‘Year 5 hub’, better reflecting contemporary pedagogy.

The spaces are designed to be easily modified so that students can actively participate in their learning environment. Furniture and screens have been fabricated using identifiable, ready-made objects, re-purposed either from industrial uses or from outdoor environments. In the ‘meandering library’ these materials have been playfully used to define the space by distinct themes: Village Green, Town Square, the Street and the highly flexible Market.

The Primary School upgrade project  opened on February 5 2016, in time for the new school year, to the delight of teachers and children!

This project was shortlisted in the following prestigious awards:

2016 Interior Design Excellence Awards

2017 Australian Library Design Awards

2017 INDE Awards

MLC Junior Years

In 2014 CODA collaborated with BVN Donovan Hill to design a new Junior Years precinct for the existing Methodist Ladies’ College campus in Claremont WA.

During the initial phases the combined practices of BVN Donovan Hill and CODA held several intensive workshops to understand fully the aspirations of the school, the staff and the community as a whole. These productive and interactive sessions resulted in a reworking and refinement of the existing masterplan in line with the new Preferred Education Model (PEM) for the school.

We worked with the school and No Tosh on the early stages of brief development to fully understand and articulate the potentials of good design to the teaching method. A key aspiration was to create closer ties between the project interior and the landscape. To this end we developed a series of “learning landscapes” that move inside and outside the buildings, engaging students in their surrounds through the blurring of teaching and play spaces.

While large moves are important to address the teaching and learning objectives, small moves are also critical as a way of responding directly to the staff and students by creating moments of wonder, delight, scale and intimacy for an overall feeling of security and belonging.

The building contract has been awarded and demolition has begun as the first phase of the new development works.

MLC Boarding House

The transformation of the boarding house at MLC offered us an exciting opportunity to conduct an extensive interior refurbishment of three interconnected buildings on the Claremont campus.

We were fortunate to start with good bones: a beautiful federation Centenary Building, replete with generous volumes and timber details, connecting through to additional boarding houses with breathtaking river views. Our design offers a contemporary interpretation of the grand Homestead and reflects the warmth of the care offered here. Every aspect of the interior has been considered; from the unique bedroom textiles designed by Andrea Barton to the bespoke furniture across both the private rooms and communal spaces.

With a new energy running throughout the interior spaces, the MLC boarding house has been catapulted to the most exciting in Perth.

This project received a commendation at the Australian Interior Design Awards held in Sydney in June, 2016.

Beaconsfield Primary School Masterplan

In 2013, Beaconsfield Primary School engaged CODA to develop an overall Masterplan for their campus, with a focus on its gardens and external play spaces. We were excited by the potentials of this project to create a series of spaces that align with the school’s aspirations to link culture, play and learning. With the assistance of the school community the transformation of the grounds has been able to take place at a rapid pace. Three derelict buildings have already been demolished in order to make room for a Nature Play playground as well as a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden respledent with seasonal planting. This project provides the opportunity for everyone at CODA to contribute to the outcome through the range of skills and interests of our practice. Urban design, architecture and landscape architecture will all play a big role as we get into more detail.

Bunbury Catholic College – Marist Campus

CODA and Broderick Architects were engaged by Bunbury Catholic College to develop an overall masterplan for their existing campus in Bunbury. Our role was to holistically re-imagine the school’s built environment, which up until this point had evolved in an ad-hoc fashion.

Our proposal creates a series of learning precincts that can accommodate the College’s faciltiies and enhance the existing relationships between staff and students. A new Learning Commons, which comprises of a diverse range of teaching and studying spaces, has enabled contemporary pedagogy to be better integrated with the campus.

This project received an Architecture Award at the 2015 WA Institute of Architects awards.

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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Bunbury Catholic College – Mercy Campus

CODA and Broderick Architects were commissioned to undertake masterplanning and architectural design of the new campus for Bunbury Catholic College, located on a greenfield site in Australind. An extensive education brief has guided the design of a campus that will accommodate 1200 students from years 7 – 12.

The new campus has been designed to embrace contemporary pedagogy through flexible, interactive learning spaces and an increased engagement with the natural environment. To achieve this, we have organised the school into two age-specific zones, Early Adolescent Learners and Young Adult Learners. The central spine of the school is created around shared specialist areas and a Learning Commons. A series of pedestrian streets and landscapes gardens surround a large central square, which will form the day-to-day heart of the College whilst also providing a space for gatherings of the whole school community.

Stage one buildings, that included the Learning Commons, Young Adult Learners and the Technical and Enterprise building set around the central square were completed prior to the start of the school year in 2015.  As a result of a rapid take up in student places, stage two of the BCC Mercy campus, including the Early Adolescent Learners and Science buildings along with additional landscaping and shaded walkways was brought forward and has begun on site, with opening anticipated in time for the 2017 school year.

In April 2015, this project received Think Brick’s Horbury Hunt award for excellence in architectural brick design.