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Contemporary Residential Architects –
Merging Art with Architecture

Cathi Colla Architects began in 2000 from a small shopfront studio in Carlton North. Cathi Colla Architects is now a well-established practice, specialising in contemporary residential architecture – architecture with a primary focus for creating calm, beautiful, sustainable and healthy environments.

Our practice draws together over twenty-five years of architectural practice, 15 years of art experimentation and exhibitions, and 10 years of teaching (architectural design and construction).

Clients of Cathi Colla Architects benefit from a strong and diverse network of skilled consultants. Our practice is well supported by a team of architects and like minded business professionals. Our consultants are always on hand to assist with the delivery of projects in a comprehensive, attentive and timely manner.

Practice Experience

Prior to setting up practice, Cathi has worked with a number of award winning architects.

Her international experience includes time with Eisenman Architects in New York and Teun Koolhaas and Associates in the Netherlands. Further, more local experience with other award winning architectural practices include Denton Corker Marshall (DCM), Williams Boag (WBa) in Melbourne as well as Eeles Trelease in Sydney.

Such experience has provided Cathi with significant architectural design experience in the areas of residential, cultural, civic, heritage, and urban design.

Selected previous projects include:

Melbourne Museum, Carlton
(whilst working with Denton Corker Marshall, DCM)

McClelland Gallery, Langwarrin, Victoria
Australian Tapestry Workshop, South Melbourne, Victoria
Inkerman Oasis Housing, St Kilda, Victoria
Melbourne Tianjin Gardens, Melbourne Victoria
(whilst working with Williams Boag Architects, WBa)

Art and architecture

Cathi has always believed there is an important role for art in architecture.

In 1999 Cathi followed her passion for art and began a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, majoring in Sculpture and Spatial Practice at RMIT, Melbourne. This provided a great opportunity to explore and experiment with space, materials, theories, performance and installations. Cathi’s primary focus for study was about the human body and it’s occupation and experience of, and within space. This includes the understanding of haptic experience, and the body’s conscious and subconscious world.

Since graduating in 2003 this has been the primary focus of Cathi’s art and performance-based work. Cathi’s ongoing investigations provide significant influence into the architectural design process.

Teaching architecture, advocacy and the community

Cathi has been a design studio leader at the Schools of Architecture at RMIT and at the University of Melbourne. A rich mix of architecture practice, and study of art and experimentation inspired her in this role.

Cathi was taught at Newcastle University by leading passive solar design enthusiasts, before ‘green’ was the ‘in-thing’. With more recent formal certification in this area, Cathi also brings sustainability assessment and advice to projects. The principles and practice of energy conservation, design of passive and active energy capture and integration with design are significant influencing factors to current architectural commissions.

Cathi’s early adoption of passive solar design and sustainable design has since been converted into skills to assist and share with clients and students alike.

Cathi is passionate about assisting the community: supporting local groups, supporting other architects and the benefits of architecture to the broader community. Cathi Colla Architects regularly support the “Great Lee Street Fete” (Carlton North Primary School) and Cathi’s favourite North Fitzroy business, The Spin Room. Cathi is an active member of both the Australian Institute of Architects and the ArchiTeam Cooperative.

In 2012 Cathi became a Director for the ArchiTeam Cooperative giving her the opportunity to support the community of sole and small practice architects, and to advocate on the critical need and benefits of great architecture in the wider community.

The Australian Institute of Architects also recently admitted Cathi as a Fellow, for her contribution to the practice of architecture over recent years.

Cathi Colla Architects also enjoy assisting and educating individuals considering building or renovating their homes. We regularly write, develop and publish tips and tricks on the process and benefits of good architectural design, and for undertaking a smooth, stress-free design and construction process.