Archives

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.

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.

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).

PMH Psychological Medicine Reception Area

In 2011, CODA were approached by the Psychological Medicine Department at Princess Margaret Hospital to improve their waiting space and shift it from the generic sofa and toddler toys that are typical of a hospital waiting space to something that engaged with the diversity of the users of the space.

The waiting area is constantly occupied and often requires children and adolescents to wait for up to an hour while their parent attends an appointment. Our initial brief development meetings with the client allowed us to experience firsthand the space and observe these users. The need for adolescents to have some independence from parents was immediately obvious.

The project had two major constraints that ultimately lead to the opportunities of the project.  Firstly the site area was extremely constrained and very little, if anything could be done to the fabric of the interior space. Secondly, the project had a total budget of $6000 including toys.

Through the removal of a single partition wall we were able to take over a small, disused space and create an L-shape to work within. The scheme itself inserts an object into the centre of this space, away from the walls, creating a continuous ribbon of activity that spans the range of ages of the client base whilst allowing for age appropriate levels of adult supervision.

Execution of this tiny project would not have been possible had it not been for the generosity and collaborative nature of the people who ultimately delivered it. Carpet and rubber were donated, ply was discounted and rooms were painted. The Subiaco Men in Sheds donated their time and over several weeks and in addition to the painting, tackled the complex geometries of the plywood modules and the necessity for on-site assembly.

This project reinforces the importance of architecture at every scale and the generosity of people to make a real difference through small, incremental improvements.

In July 2012, the PMH Psychological Medicine Reception Area received a Commendation in the Small Project category at the Australian Institute of Architects Awards (WA).