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Lotterywest House City West

CODA has worked with Lotterywest and Foundation Housing to analyse the accommodation needs of the tenants of an inner-city lotteries house located in West Perth. We worked with the client to determine the potential for redevelopment at the site so that existing and new organisations operating within the lotteries house have the opportunity to expand. 

We used statistical information, online surveys and comprehensive consultation exercises (one-to-one interviews with all 18 tenants) to gather information to determine the best way forward for redevelopment. Our report translated this data into a format that the organisations within the lotteries house could assess and implement immediately.

The aim of the project was to provide more amenity for current and future tenants, whilst increasing the flexibility of office space and activating the site by involving the community. Two concepts were proposed, one maximising on office space and the other adding a mixed use residential component of up to 9 stories to the site.As a result of our investigations, Lotterywest has set up a new department to review all of their lotteries houses in order to improve the not-for-profit office accommodation model.

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.

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.

Building for Diversity

In 2006, CODA won a national ideas competition that led to the provision of architectural services for a $10m mixed use building for Foundation Housing. The project responds to the client’s vision and supports the revitalisation of Northbridge set out by the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (now MRA).

44 hostel units, 16 key worker apartments, a caretaker apartment, 9 commercial tenancies and the restoration and conversion of a heritage warehouse to a cafe all sit on the 1190m2 site.

From the outset CODA looked to interrogate the brief and challenge the status quo. Our scheme challenged the site’s height restrictions, proposing a “small tower” building for the hostel accommodation with a lower building on the boundary of the site containing apartments and small commercial tenancies.

This configuration allows for a northern orientation to each habitable room whilst successfully addressing the need for cross ventilation. By increasing the height of the tower, the centre of the site was also freed to become a communal courtyard.

The project celebrates the richness of natural materials in combination with the whimsy of colour. CODA worked with four artists to fully integrate public artwork into the building fabric, making this a true building for the community.

MG/GT Administration Building

The MG/GT community facility and administration building in Kununurra is shared by the Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation and the Gelganyem Trust, two traditional land owner groups in the eastern Kimberley. The two-level building is used by the staff of both organisations and by the community that they serve.

A requirement of the clients was to ensure that the building created a welcoming presence and was open both to the environment and community. We engaged in an extensive process of stakeholder engagement and invited elders from both communities to develop the schematic design and approve the final design, ensuring a truly inclusive and supported outcome.

An important first move was to place the offices upstairs, creating a shaded public space on the ground floor for people to gather informally or meet with the officers of the organisations. Upstairs the internal finishes have been selected with an eye to the desire for a less corporate space and to continue the dialogue of an inviting environment.

From the street, a ‘green screen’ constructed from vertically aligned painted steel angles provides cohesiveness to the two volumes of the building. During the day this screen creates a shaded, non air-conditioned space to be used for meetings outside of the offices; at night, the screen glows like a beacon providing a striking silhouette visible in the town.

The building’s materials and finish are necessarily tough. To enable the building to better cope with Kununurra’s climate, and the heavy user wear that it will receive, steel and fibre cement is used extensively as an external cladding. These robust materials are continually tempered by the use of colour throughout the project.

This project received an Architecture Award in the Commercial Category of the 2013 AIA Awards.

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).

Horse Barn

Our pro bono program enables our entire practice to engage in voluntary work to assist community-based groups to pursue or complete projects for their organisation. This program helps strengthen social responsibility as a core value of our business.

In 2008 we heard that a residential drug and alcohol facility was looking to build a horse barn in order for their clients to help rehabilitate abused horses. We approached them to offer both our design and ‘construction’ services. We sought to reuse as many of the materials as we could from the farm itself and develop a construction system that could be executed by a group of enthusiastic but largely untrained ‘builders’.

The total budget for the project was $7000 or $25/m. The existing structure was largely maintained and strengthened. Steel tracks from a previous hydroponic tomato system were reused to provide the structural components for walls and barriers. Within these a system of painted panels were inserted creating spaces for grooming and training, as well as additional accommodation for other animals such as goats. Colours were selected for their capacity to be both uplifting and soothing for the residents. External cladding provides increased weather protection.

The project achieved a triple bottom line in sustainability objectives through extremely economical construction, recycling and adapting existing spaces and community and social interaction.

This project received a Small Projects Commendation at the 2009 AIA Awards.