Boonooloo Road Grouped Housing Project

CODA Studio was commissioned by a client with extensive building and commercial construction knowledge to undertake a grouped housing project at Boonooloo Road in Kalamunda. The project involved the construction of 4 grouped infill dwellings on a 4,000sqm lot that had previously held two standard dwellings. The project seeks to reinvent the common approach to infill development currently prevalent across Perth.

Whilst all four dwellings are independent of one another (semi-detached), the design language is common across the development. Economical building systems and finishes are brought to life with careful consideration to spatial planning and the articulation of threshold moments. This design tests both new plan typologies and prefabricated Structurally Insulated Wall Panels (SIP) and responds to the limitations of SIP systems, particularly ground slab junctions. Opportunities for ancillary dwellings are also tested, with the 4th bedroom fitted with capped services for retrofit; the villa becomes a 3 bedroom home with separate accommodation (bedsit or granny flat) or home office in the future. 

Joyful insertions of colour and a restrained palette of sophisticated materials further elevate this project beyond what’s become typical in our suburbs.

Design Guide Testing: Planning Reform for Better Design

CODA was engaged by the WA Department of Planning to review their draft Planning Reform for Better Design, which focuses on design policy that will inform the creation of a new State Planning Policy (SPP). The SPP will seek to provide new controls for Multi-Residential Apartments relating to architecture, urban design, landscape and environmentally sensitive design

This project required CODA to provide a comparison between three selected benchmark developments on small narrow lots, which were approved under the current R-Codes criteria, and three alternative design scenarios prepared in reference to the proposed new Design Guides. For each scenario, CODA was required to produce a set of plans at different levels and inform those plans with a summary of achievable development outcomes. The key findings were compiled into a report that will assist the Department of Planning’s planning reform process. 

Ranford Road Urban Village

CODA’s scheme for the #designperth challenge tests opportunities for a site located on a busy road and addresses the lack of housing diversity within the area.

The broad aspiration for the scheme is to improve economic, social and environmental benefits to this corridor whilst whilst providing an attractive place to live and work, with housing choice, genuine affordability and quality landscape amenity. It seeks to transform the area’s car dominated and severe built and urban form into a vibrant urban village, with improved links to public transport and a shared path network.

CODA used a diverse combination of housing typologies, including maisonettes, adaptable ageing in place units and flexible housing to develop the village. Importantly, none of our proposed residential buildings are over three storeys, with the only three-four storey building being mixed-use and addressing the main road.

More about the scheme and the #designperth initiative can be found here.


Gingin Community and Seniors Housing

CODA and Foundation Housing were engaged by the Shire of Gingin to develop a concept masterplan and business case for a site in Gingin. The project was for seniors/community housing for those people who are looking to downsize from their existing accommodation and move into a village type location which supports ageing-in-place.

CODA prepared a masterplan consisting of 40 dwellings and several communal landscaped areas on the 2.3 hectare site. Several housing type plans were also prepared and met the criteria of the “Livable Housing Design Guidelines” as set out by Livable Housing Australia. This meant creating house plans that are designed and built to meet the changing needs of occupants across their lifetime. Careful consideration was made to the whole scheme, including the landscaped areas, in order to be appropriate for ageing-in-place living.

Jolimont Former Nursery Site

The site, located in Jolimont and adjacent to Matthews Netball Centre, will be redeveloped to allow for higher density residences. Over 4 hectares, it will accommodate 3 – 6 storey apartment buildings and 2 – 3 storey townhouses, equating to 300 new dwellings overall.

CODA’s initial involvement in the project was to review the built form plans that had been previously devised. CODA were able to propose an alternative subdivision as well as develop a series of diagrams to communicate the movement of traffic and the relationships with the public realm and surrounding environment. We tested the site for yield potential and proposed a range of built form typologies; we analysed the solar impact of the apartment buildings to address any potential overshadowing issues.

To compliment our analysis and design work we developed 3D visualizations that were used as communication tools by the City of Cambridge at a community forum.

White Gum Valley Development

In 2012, CODA was engaged by Landcorp to propose a series of innovative housing typologies for the former Kim Beazley School site in White Gum Valley. These typologies proposed a diverse range of housing styles and living options including apartments, maisonettes and single homes, which were appropriate to the site’s proximity to central Fremantle and reflective of the needs of the community. As part  of our role, we also prepared comprehensive Design Guidelines that will inform the buildings to come. We are now acting in our role as Estate Architect for all development proposals across the site and will participate in design reviews for all multiple dwelling sites.

CODA relishes the opportunity to work at the front (and often most challenging) end of housing developments. Through our work in projects such as this, we have the opportunity to broadly influence the way in which homes function and communities evolve.

In 2015, this project was awarded the Planning Minister’s Award at the WA Awards for Planning Excellence; in May 2016 the project received the Award for Excellence, Best Planning Small Project at the national Planning Institute of Australia Awards; and in October 2016, WGV received the prestigious Australia Award for Urban Design, Policies, Programs and Concepts (small scale).

Amana Living

CODA was invited by Amana Living as one of four architectural practices chosen to explore the feasibility and potential for the development of quality accommodation for people aged 55+ on an existing Amana site.

The proposition put forward by our team was expressive of CODA’s determination to produce innovative, sustainable and research-based work. With a strong interest in the future of housing and in particular the necessity for age-appropriate living, this project was a result of a determination to understand what defines successful retirement housing.

The proposal puts forward a total of 105 apartments, 90% of which are anticipated to achieve a Platinum level of Livable Housing Design Guidelines to encourage access to all residents as well as easy adaptation of apartments to the specific needs of residents.

A set of 5 key principles were developed to guide the design process:

Light + Air

Passive solar considerations are ensured in all dwellings as a result of an understanding of both the environmental benefits and in recognising the major life-enhancing health and psychological benefits of good access to sunlight and natural ventilation.

Materials + Sustainability    

We proposed a beautiful selection of materials, both hardwearing and sustainable where possible. ESD considerations were a key component of the design, which encompasses water recycling systems, PVS and solar thermal on the roof.

Privacy + Community  

We believe that when operating effectively retirement living can become the backdrop for a fulfilling communal life whilst allowing privacy and amenity for individual pursuits.

Safety + Security

Part of the research undertaken through the design process involved a series of interviews with those who sit within the demographic most akin to the potential clients of Amana living. These interviews revealed that security was of the most importance to people as they aged.

These are at the heart of any multi-residential design and particularly relevant in the case of 55+ living and its associated services and lifestyle.

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.

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.

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.