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. 

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.

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.

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.

Cantonment Hill Master Plan

The need for a Master Plan for Cantonment Hill comes after 10 years of lobbying by the local community to prevent the surplus site being sold for residential development. In 2010, the City of Fremantle purchased the site and the following year engaged CODA to prepare a Master Plan for the site alongside the Cantonment Hill Master Planning Working Group.

The project required extensive consultation with stakeholders; research and analysis of the heritage and other contextual data; the identification of opportunities and constraints within the site; recommendations to be made for its future development and care as well as suggestions for the heritage interpretation of the site; preparation of support material and the participation in a process of community consultation and feedback; and finally, the delivery of 3D modeling and a Master Plan report.

Cantonment Hill provides powerful visual entry marker into Fremantle but despite its position the land has lain desolate for many years. The site requires extensive upgrades and investment in order for it to become an inviting amenity for local residents and visitors to the City. Financial feasibility will significantly influence the final outcome.

Potential barriers such as the existing buildings and roads have been creatively incorporated into a plan for pedestrian and cycling routes that will ultimately link Cantonment Hill with central Fremantle.

The public realm within the site responds to nature, climate, regional identity, local character, and its potential visitors and residents in order to express a relevant and recognisable landscape vernacular. Spatial and social concepts of community and neighbourhood have all been addressed within the Master Plan.

AIDS Memorial

Won through a national two-stage design competition in collaboration with Rodney Glick.

A sheltered space with a calm reflecting pond that allows individuals to contemplate the sky.

Salentina Ridge

A huge public open space on a shoestring budget.

A large cliff was stabilised and parkland established in a new residential development just outside Fremantle. Recycled timber columns found during earthworks were used to create a shade structure that zigzags along the cliff edge. The basic detailing references the backyard verandahs and grapevine trellises of the areas early European migrant population.

Four large concrete footings unearthed during the clearing are titled and propped by giant steel leaf forms to create a civic gateway into the park. This project was completed in collaboration with artists Bec Juniper and Jon Denaro.