Groote Eylandt Archipelago

Over the last two years CODA have been working on an important project on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. By travelling regularly to the archipelago we have been able to engage directly with locals and community stakeholders, allowing us to develop a deep understanding of the complex cultural patterns underpinning each community.

CODA has been working with the Anindilyakwa Land Council and local indigenous corporations to prepare Housing Masterplans, Housing Guides and community infrastructure audits for their communities in Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island in East Arnhem Land. Our work will allow the ALC to be ‘project ready’ when funding agreements are reached between the local communities and both Territory and Federal governments.

Corallie Ferguson, CEO of GEBIE Aboriginal Corporation writes, ‘I was stunned by how easy it was for Kieran to be invited into several of the many different styles of homes in Angurugu, Umbakumba and Millyakburra communities. He and his team were welcomed everywhere they went. We would strongly support them as consultants of choice in complex, culturally specific and climate responsive urban design and place-planning.’

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. 

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.


Kimberley Vernacular Handbook

The Kimberley Vernacular Handbook aims to highlight ways that future development within Broome and the other towns of the Kimberley can create environmentally and socially sustainable built environments, which fit well with the existing town settings.

This project builds upon the positive response we received for our work on the Pilbara Vernacular Handbook, and uses its tested format as a base. Our analysis of Broome focussed on the following segments: responding to client, engaging with the natural environment, building on Broome’s character and identity, enhancing livability and mobilising for change. Multi-disciplinary approaches are proposed, as the principles and strategies suggested by the Handbook are often interconnected. It is recognised that regional centres have limited resources, so that emphasis is on clear, achievable and affordable strategies, with directly beneficial outcomes for Broome.

Further towns will be addressed at a later date.

Fremantle Vision

CODA recently worked with the City of Fremantle to produce the graphics for Freo 2029 Transformational Moves, a public document that reveals the Council’s inspiring vision for the city. We worked with elected members and relevant officers to review, refine, augment and modify the transformational moves and then present them in one document.

Our aim was to synthesise the competing demands of the urban realm, creating diagrams and images that could be easily read by all of the city’s stakeholders from residents to investors. Each ‘transformational move’ is focused on a different location or aspect of the city centre. Each then incorporates a number of major place-based projects that would underpin the city’s future.

While there are many smaller projects that can progressively enhance the city, the ‘moves’ identified in FREO 2029 have the ability to transform Fremantle into the city its status deserves. The document augments the Activity Centre Structure Plan for Fremantle. It illustrates how the plan can be implemented via a number of catalytic actions which can impact on the city’s future. 

Cockburn Central West

CODA’s involvement in the Cockburn Central West project was to develop a comprehensive 3D site model for LandCorp, to test and define the potential built form and road layouts administered by the Design Guidelines (prepared by Taylor Burrell Barnett). The 3D mass model was an important tool in communicating to the authorities (City of Cockburn and Office of the Government Architect) the ways in which we had addressed the finer nuances of the site, especially within steeper areas of the development.

Using the model we were able to analyse overshadowing, street interfaces with ground floor setbacks, bulk and scale, the relationship with public open space and the new Fremantle Dockers training facility. Throughout the process, we provided direction to the development of the public realm and built form in accordance with the criteria established by the design guidelines. The urban realm and road modelling also provided detailed guidance to engineers in developing the final road design.

Key objectives of the project were to maximise opportunities for views from the apartment towers to the open space; and to develop built form that would mitigate the negative effects of nearby busy roads and the overhead, high voltage powerlines immediately west of the site.

McCabe Street Modelling

CODA was engaged by the City of Fremantle to develop a sketch 3D model to inform the discussion around permissible building envelopes for a site on McCabe Street in North Fremantle. The site surrounds the Matilda Bay Brewery heritage building, and is identified under the City’s Local Planning Policy 3.11.

Residential development at the site is intended to assist the City in achieving the broader housing density targets set by the state government. Our model allowed the impact of this development to be explored from ten established view points, to ensure that any new buildings would not adversely affect the visual appeal of the area or impact nearby residents. The model tested a series of buildings heights in order to arrive at the most appropriate outcome for the area.

With the assistance of CODA, Council were able to make an informed decision regarding a revision to the local planning policy for this location.

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.

WGV Split Level House

There is a growing demand for the design of demographically diverse housing that offers the potential to expand and contract as residents move through the natural phases of life. In terms of urban design solutions to accommodate our growing population, the WGV Split Level House answers these needs by increasing the occupancy potential of an individual dwelling.

This project builds upon CODA’s extensive experience in developing innovative housing typologies and our role as WGV Estate Architect.

At WGV, the split level sites are distinguished by a 3m retaining wall running through the site offset from the precinct’s internal laneway. The design offers multiple configurations, demonstrating that a single home can function in a range of occupancy scenarios. For instance, as a dual key house that can accommodate an ancillary dwelling and work from home options.

Efficient in its use of space, the split level house makes the most of its dual frontage, with both laneway and avenue providing two distinct entry points. The scale and texture of materials respond to the existing neighborhood, anchoring the building within White Gum Valley’s established architectural framework.

Importantly, the design responds to Landcorp’s Climatic Responsive Design Policy with regards to setbacks, natural ventilation and open space.