Karratha Shade Structure

This project has given CODA the opportunity to test the strategies defined in our Pilbara Vernacular Handbook and, in doing so, explore the architectural and performance possibilities for overhead shade structures in Karratha, based on the Handbook’s recommendations. The shade structures are proposed as part of the future expansion and densification of the Karratha town centre. Considerations of climate, radiant heat, air flow, interaction with surrounding buildings and aesthetic appeal to the street below have all been tested and combined to form this conceptual design.

The main objective for these structures is to provide shade, however many other opportunities were identified that can benefit the street amenity and increase the desire for people to use it. Using folded metal louvres, rather than a horizontal platform, allows for control of the sun angle and shading as well as providing ample air flow. There is also the possibility of artistic expression through the form and colours of the underside of the shades, creating a vibrant and colourful city centre for Karratha. Opportunities for street interaction through use of signage and street furniture has also been explored as a way to reduce the structures’ visual scale and provide interaction with the shade structures at a pedestrian level.

Kings Square Precinct Urban Design Strategy

Kings Square sits at the geographical and civic heart of Fremantle and the aim of the strategy is to reinstate the Square and its surrounding sites as an important social and commercial hub for the city centre.

Amendment 49 to the City of Fremantle Local Planning Scheme No. 4 has recently been introduced and establishes the planning requirements for the key development sites in and around Kings Square including the heights of buildings and their setback from the road boundary. The strategy includes the full length of Queen Street as a connection to the Train Station and Victoria Quay, as well as a consideration of the pedestrian routes from Kings Square to key retail nodes and attractions around Fremantle.

In March 2012, the City engaged CODA, Creating Communities Australia and Kelsall Binet Architects to provide architectural, urban design and landscape architecture services and to facilitate public consultation.

The project can be broken down into five distinct phases:

  • visioning
  • design development
  • community consultation
  • amendment
  • adoption.

A series of community consultation workshops and presentations were held throughout the project to encourage a collaborative and iterative process and to ensure that the needs and desires of Fremantle’s residents, commercial owners and operators and other stakeholders were considered. The consultant team documented and analysed the outcomes of the community consultation process for presentation to City Councillors who gave final consideration to the preferred Urban Design Strategy for Kings Square and its surrounds. A copy of the adopted Strategy is available for download from the City of Fremantle’s website.

In 2015, this project received an Australia Award for Urban Design commendation for Small Scale Policy, Programs and Concepts.

Town of Cambridge Local Housing Strategy

The purpose of this project was to identify housing typologies and planning opportunities for the Town of Cambridge in order to meet the Council’s housing objectives for a target of an additional 3000 homes by 2031, as set out in the draft Central Metropolitan Perth Sub Regional Strategy. CODA’s responsibility was to deliver a series of housing typologies that demonstrate positive and achievable development opportunities for the Town.

Our preparatory work underpins all our design decisions by building a thorough and astute understanding of place. We have achieved this through research and exploration of the impacts and influences at a statutory level for historic, existing and forecast conditions.

For each of the residential precincts of City Beach, Floreat, Wembley and West Leederville we looked at the opportunities and constraints of the existing housing stock in terms of type, form and character as well as streetscapes and local context. Each of these four precincts has its own distinct character and form and it is these differences that ultimately determined the pervading sense of place for our final typologies.

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.

Perry Lakes Design Guidelines

Perry Lakes holds a significant place in the collective memory of many Western Australians. Built to host the 1962 Commonwealth Games, Perry Lakes was recognised as an iconic sporting venue of considerable value. For many, Perry Lakes provided an intensely personal study of the heroic clarity, openness and beauty of modernist architecture. It became a monument to its time and purpose.

CODA was engaged to develop Design Guidelines and Detailed Area Plans for the Landcorp housing development project at this site. We worked closely with Roberts Day to develop built form and urban design outcomes respectful of the site’s unique cultural, environmental and historical significance.

The Perry Lakes project has created a new high quality residential development on the former stadium site which compliments the proposed sporting facilities at AK Reserve. The development has respectfully interwoven elements of the heritage and history of the past with a new type of product for the area; created an exciting benchmark for sustainability in the area over and above the Act requirements; created an inspiring example that will lead the way for new approaches to diversity in housing and communities; and, is sensitive to its neighbouring communities.

The Pilbara Vernacular Handbook

The Pilbara region of Western Australia is experiencing a massive surge of growth demanding a longer-term view of Pilbara communities, their infrastructure and amenity. The Pilbara Vernacular Handbook is a 400-page volume responding to the need for a strategic re-imagining for future urban and suburban development. It is designed as an essential tool creating a common focus for people from industry, commerce, government and community who are instrumental in the ongoing development of the Pilbara.

The task of identifying a Pilbara vernacular is a unique and unprecedented challenge and provides the opportunity to capture and reflect the dynamic spirit of the place. Many Pilbara towns were established to provide short-term accommodation for mining companies and do not have the distinctive built form that defines a typical local design context.

The objectives of the Pilbara Vernacular Handbook are to:

  • encourage high quality buildings and public realm and enhance the interface between the two
  • provide a contemporary design response to the Pilbara context including logistic and economic considerations
  • evoke a sense of place which reflects the local landscape, environment, climate and culture.

The Handbook provides a springboard for ideas and encourages a deeper level of thinking about the design and construction that is appropriate to the place.

To achieve this, the contents are organized into the following:

  • Analysis
  • Opportunities and Constraints
  • Values
  • Principles
  • Design Strategies

Five core values were identified as essential design considerations:

  • Responding to climate
  • Incorporating the natural landscape
  • Building on the Pilbara character and identity
  • Enhancing livability
  • Mobilising for change

The Handbook begins with an overarching analysis and strategies for appropriate responses for the urban realm, housing and built form. Four towns were nominated and the same analysis and strategic principles were applied to each unearthing the particularities of place and providing strategies to specific conditions.

The Pilbara Vernacular Handbook is the first comprehensive and detailed review of existing built fabric of towns in the region. We have presented a case for high quality, regional and place specific design responses at a variety of scales. The document has been designed to be read by a broad range of users and is set out in an easy to understand format using colour coding to guide the user through the categories of reference.

We worked with engineers, planning consultants, retail and economic consultants, planning and land agencies to ensure that the work met the strategic goals of government whilst balancing practical, credible and viable design scenarios. We worked closely with local builders and developers to ensure the validity of our strategies in the marketplace and test the effectiveness of our communication.

The document has already become an invaluable source of information for government, council, developers and builders. There is opportunity to build the content with additional chapters on specific building and planning topics and we are currently working on multiple dwelling and medium density development in the Pilbara.

The true value of this document will be seen as the towns and cities develop and will be appreciated by generations to come.

Munster Grouped Housing Project

CODA were engaged to explore the opportunities for diverse housing types in Munster, a suburb south of Fremantle. Currently, the typical dwelling in Munster is a detached single house on a 600sqm lot. The concept designs prepared by CODA are the result of extensive testing and research to find viable opportunities for multiple housing on a single lot of this size.

Our designs provide for demographically diverse and affordable housing options as well as responding to the scale and grain of the accepted suburban pattern of the surrounding area. This study has the potential to make a significant contribution to the quality of multiple housing in Western Australia and will benefit from a developers and builders who share the intent of our vision.

East Hedland Fill and Substructure Study

CODA were engaged by Landcorp to investigate if an alternative approach to the Business as Usual (BAU) model could minimise imported infill and result in substantial financial, environmental and spatial gains for a site located in the floodplain of East Port Hedland.

CODA’s role in conjunction with CAPITAL HOUSE structural engineers and Davis Langdon Quantity Surveyors was to develop and explore alternative housing typologies to the BAU model utilising various substructure solutions.

An alternative approach to BAU was considered as raising the lot in it entirety by importing fill to achieve a minimum ground level dictated by 1:100, 1:50 and 1:20 year flood surge levels together with the use of steel structure and suspended floor to achieve the required habitable flood level.

To assist in determining the likely viability of an alternative approach, a Construction Industry Research Questionnaire was prepared and issued to several established Pilbara Home Builders in order to gather valuable knowledge of current market standards and practice. Research of the recent Queensland Floods was also completed and the findings and applicable strategies for construction in floodplain areas collated.

The Springs

Landcorp engaged CODA to review and re-write Design Guidelines for a 13.7 ha site in Belmont adjacent to the Swan River, the Graham Farmer Freeway and Great Eastern Highway. It is intended that this development will form an attractive and desirable gateway into the City of Belmont.

Extensive consultation took place with external planners, the owners of the site and an extensive design consultant team that included civil engineers and landscape architects. Through this process CODA was able to deliver a detailed urban design guide for medium to high-density buildings as well as Design Guidelines and Detailed Area Plans that are soon to be incorporated as Local Planning Policy by the City of Belmont.

Key features of the project include a mix of residential and commercial premises to encourage the development of a dynamic and active urban environment.


Waranyjarri Display Village

CODA were engaged by Landcorp to be part of an assessment and selection panel which selected 8 house designs, by 8 local builders, to be constructed as part of a ‘display village’ at the entry to the Waranyjarri Estate. Given its location at the major entry point to the estate, it was essential that the selected houses not only showcase local builders and their designs, but that they set a precedent for future development within the subdivision.

As authors of both the Broome North Housing Guide and the Broome North Design Guidelines, CODA ensured that each of the houses selected for the display village were appropriately designed for the Broome climate and compliant with the desired character and aesthetic of the Waranyjarri subdivision. Following this, CODA worked with the successful builders to ensure the success of their designs, a process which gave us a unique insight in construction methods, cost effective strategies and standardisation options for Broome housing.