Our team is our engine, and our designs consider the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Every client and project is different and exciting, and we’ve developed a clear process that gives us room to be totally creative and brings attention, passion and energy to our project (while the process takes care of itself).

Cathi Colla Architects began in 2000 from an old shopfront in Carlton North. We are now a well-established local practice, specialising in contemporary residential architecture — with a focus on sustainability, context and community. 

Our practice draws together over thirty years of architecture, design and teaching. Cathi has also worked in locations as far-reaching as New York and the Netherlands and is a trained artist.

Though we’re now based in inner-city Melbourne, we also continue to create projects in country NSW, in particular Orange (Cathi’s hometown) and districts, and the NSW South Coast.

“Cathi and her team are nothing short of amazing. We have an old heritage home, which needed updating. CCA were able to make our house feel modern and contemporary while still being true to the feel of the house.  When people visit our home having seen the miraculous transition from before to after they always ask for the name of our architect. This is a tribute to the great work CCA did.”

PE, Fitzroy North


Environment Sustainability

Creating environmentally sustainable architecture shouldn’t just be the latest trend. We believe each project should be considered with the environment front of mind. We optimise solar energy and thermal mass, whilst we minimise energy, material use and carbon footprint.

What this means for you is feel-good design, with lower energy costs, improved liveability of spaces and a smaller environmental impact of the energy-intensive construction process.

Social Sustainability

We love our local community, and we strive to positively contribute to it in every way we can. Our designs consider the needs of the project and the site, and also the needs of your neighbourhood and the wider community.

We design with the future of you, your community and your neighbourhood  in mind.

Economic Sustainability

Your journey to great design should be a worthwhile investment – for you and your family. We provide guidance and support to instill confidence in your economic decisions. 

Your budget is important to us. We design to your aspirations and financial objectives and our goal is to give you optimised space, commodity and delight while keeping your budget front of mind.

We also aim to support local economies through partnering with local consultants, sourcing and building with local materials and products as a priority —and through making many visits to our favourite Rathdowne Street cafes and (almost) next-door Italian pasticceria!


“Cathi and team have done a fabulous job to design and renovate our lovely home. They listened to what we needed, and were smart, creative and thoughtful every step of the way. The team was always responsive and resourceful when required. We love our renovated home. We cannot thank Cathi and her team enough!“



With nearly 30 years in the architecture industry, Cathi Colla has carved her niche in creating strategic design solutions, great communication with clients, consultants, builders and other project stakeholders. Cathi has worked with eminent architects in amazing locations, and on high-profile projects (Eisenman Architects in New York, Teun Koolhaas in the Netherlands, Eeles Trelease in Sydney and Denton Corker Marshall, Melbourne – just to name a few). Cathi is an architect, an artist, and a keen supporter of women in a male dominated industry.

A listener and strategic thinker, Cathi loves to get to the heart of the matter – and design a solution. Cathi loves honesty and is inspired by integrity. This means there is meaningful, authentic, and sometimes tough, conversation – understanding with relevance, interest and appropriate responsive – without the fluff.

As leader of the CCA team, Cathi is design lead setting the goals and mood of each project with our mighty team. With Cathi’s endless enthusiasm, she loves nothing more than getting to understand the challenges of each new client, and their project’s very individual requirements.

To contact Cathi email her at architecture@cathicolla.com

Katherine Sampson, of Cathi Colla Architects


Katherine has been working in the architecture and interiors industry for over 10 years. During this time, she has accumulated formidable experience over a number of sectors – from sustainability and residential in the inner city, to community projects and international competitions.

Living on an island whilst studying architecture instilled a clear philosophy of sustainability from the outset of her architectural career. Katherine has a keen interest in the social aspects of architecture, and has volunteered with Architects for Peace for many years, advocating for social justice and accessibility within the built environment.

Katherine’s passion and talent for connecting with people drew her to the Cathi Colla Architects team in mid 2016. She has very quickly become an invaluable member of our team. Now, Katherine applies her creative skills, big picture thinking, and experience as an architect working across a range of CCA projects. Our clients love her warmth, enthusiasm and dedication she provides to each project.

To contact Katherine email her at ks@cathicolla.com


With her can-do attitude and innate ability to ‘cut through the proverbial’ Amarinda brings fresh energy and a frank perspective to the CCA team.

Amarinda is ever-so-close to completing her formal studies of architecture. Aided by her innate curiosity and calmness, she is a technical whiz, a brilliant communicator and extremely organized. Amarinda is a brilliant asset to any project assigned her: complex, big or small.

An advocate for architectural education, Amarinda is the current national Vice President for the Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA), with the Australian Institute of Architects.


Paul’s extensive experience in the corporate and change management sector provides our team with a grounding of good management and big picture thinking. His skill of analysis and logic has enabled a fresh approach to automating aspects of the practice, meaning that can spend more time doing what we love doing: designing fantastic solutions for our clients.

Paul’s varied background in corporate IT, organisational change management, and coaching means that he is able to bring a broad, non-architectural, perspective to any discussions and decisions that need to be made.


Always up for a cuddle and quick to give the occasional nudge to remind us that we’ve been at the desk too long, Pepper is the most recent addition to our studio.

Pepper is much loved by those passing by the studio window, and of course, by us. Pepper’s interests include snoozing in the afternoon sun. Her passions include food, food, walking, more food, and… food.

Thinking of renovating or building from scratch, but feeling overwhelmed?

We offer a free 20-minute phone conversation with an architect to help you understand what’s possible for your project, get to know our process, and discover what is required to deliver the best outcomes.