“I haven’t had the opportunity to have worked with an architect previously. My first experience has been excellent. Raj and his team, from our initial introductory meeting with myself (Peter) and my wife Lyn, has been exemplary. Raj listened to our ideas and offered suggestions on how it potentially could be improved, but honouring our original concept. Raj’s experience with the building trade enabled him to advise on a range of likely scenarios. He took time out to get the builder to visit the site with him, and involved us, to talk through the options and ‘check in’ with the builder on the practical aspects of the options from a building perspective. It has been a pleasure to have been able to engage Raj. His workmanship, communication and professionalism is of the highest standard. I was grateful a friend of mine recommended Raj to us. He and his team have been a delight to work with. Thanks for the opportunity”

Peter and Lynn Codd

Codd Residence (Pergola Extensions)

A modest but heavily involved exercise in detailing the new with the old.

Geelong, Victoria.

Brief: To design and build a new outdoor living, dining and entertainment space which would be protected from the elements, yet provide ample light not only into this space, but into the existing adjoining living spaces of the house.

Key design features

The space would be accessed via the formal sitting room, just off the kitchen. The clients imagined using this space to sit and have morning coffee while reading the newspaper. Or sit with a few friends and share something to eat and drink. It was never imagined to be an area where large outdoor gatherings occur. They already have this space at the west end of the house, which is a natural overflow of the main living room.

The design would be flanked by the existing architecture; the existing garage (east side) and the existing house (south side). This provided inherently good protection from much of the prevailing wind and rain to this site, however created a number of issues connecting the new and old structures back to each other. The space remains open on the other two-sides (west and north where the best quality daylight is experienced), providing a meaningful connection to outside. As a result of this configuration, the clients can comfortably enjoy the benefits of indoor-outdoor space, all year round.

The roof design provided even further protection, which afforded greater ability to enjoy this space, almost all-year-round; rain or shine. We were mindful that despite the need to keep the clients well protected from the elements, they should still be afforded ‘ample daylight’ as well. The choice of a slightly tinted translucent polycarbonate roof sheeting (as opposed to metal equivalents) allowed ‘manageable’ amounts of both light and heat to enter, while still remaining weatherproof.

The design appears quite simple, almost conventional, at first glance. The main structural components adopt conventional light timber-framed construction with a gabled ended roof, flanked on two sides by existing buildings. On closer inspection, however, the design required an incredible amount of detailed attention towards how the new building would practically connect with the existing surrounding buildings. This was achieved with a series of custom-made structural steel brackets that ‘pinched’ the new verandah roof structures back into the existing house and garage roof structures. These brackets were designed to have a minimal visual impact yet maximum stabilising effect.

We re-used the existing concrete slab, using concrete paint treatments and a stencil system, to create a crazy paving effect. This created interest and appeal from an otherwise tired and dirty old concrete slab, without spending a lot of money.

Ecologically sustainable design principles used

The design also needed to take into account the existing solar panels on the north side of the house. The roof pitch was carefully designed to complement the existing roofs as well as maximising solar gain to the existing solar panels, all-year-round.

Project Time Frame

The project took approximately 6 months to design, detail, develop working drawings, procure permits and build. As always, we adopted an extremely inclusive approach, working very closely side-by-side the client, engineer, builder, and steel fabricator to achieve this result.

Project Cost


Written by Rebecca Gleghorn

Video by Karl Nemsow