Established 1997, Fremantle, Western Australia
CODA is a leading Western Australian boutique architectural practice and one of this country’s most exciting design voices. Currently comprising a team of 13 architects and designers, the Fremantle-based studio works across a number of different sectors, from residential and commercial to hospitality and education. Its small and large-scale projects are located throughout regional and metropolitan Western Australia and are memorable for a dynamic environmental response that incorporates robust materiality and an unabashedly strong colour palette. Co-founders Emma Williamson and Kieran Wong established the practice in the late nineteen-nineties and are still at the helm in their respective roles as Practice Director and Design Director.
The two-storey MG/GT Administration Building, 2012, in Kununurra houses the offices of traditional eastern Kimberley landowner groups, the Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation and Gelganyem Trust. While workspaces are positioned on the second level, an open public area dominates the ground-floor-plan. CODA’s brief was to make the structure as inviting as possible and these outdoor spaces succeed in offering plentiful opportunities for community engagement and gathering. The practice employed a robust material palette to withstand Kununurra’s harsh climate. To this end the project’s two volumes are formed from lightweight steel sections clad in compressed fibre cement sheeting and steel. A ‘green screen’ comprising vertically aligned hot rolled steel angles of differing sizes, wraps both volumes at the upper level on the street elevation, providing visual cohesion.