This house is designed to provide simple, functional, generous, private and light-filled living spaces for a young family, within the constraints of a smallinner city block sandwiched between 14 (!) adjacent properties. If you've even built or renovated you'll know that getting the neighbours onboard with your plan can be really difficult. Imagine if you had 14 to convince! This is where an architect like Fox Johnston's management and negotiation skills really pay for themselves…
Sensitive to Neighbors
The 241-square metre north facing site, an elevated triangle, required particularly sensitive handling of height, volumes, overshadowing to maintain neighbours’ sunlight, privacy and views.
Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
The central idea in this project is to wrap the original workers’ cottage with a continuous series of indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a dialogue between exterior and interiors, and letting light back into the deepest part of the house.
Privacy and Outlook
"Our other central concern was to maximize the family’s privacy and sense of space/outlook, without compromising the privacy of the multiple surrounding neighbours." -- Fox Johnson Architects
Clever Use of Space
"Spatially, we have used every single metre of the block to maximum advantage, setting up a dialogue between the garden space and the interior living areas to create the illusion of a bigger site. Each downstairs living room – interior and exterior - ‘borrows’ space from the other, to maximize volume, light and air." -- Fox Johnson Architects
Floating Sculpted Volume
Floating above the ground plane is a sculpted, faceted timber volume containing the main bedroom, ensuite, library/gallery and study. The upstairs spaces have been carefully shaped and designed to preserve neighbouring views and sunshine, to open the house to sunlight and natural ventilation, and to provide views to garden vistas and the surrounding snippet of Sydney harbour and Anzac Bridge views.
The material palette is simple, natural and textural with sustainability and reducing energy usage key considerations. A natural ventilation system is provided in the new house, using a temperature controlled extractor fan over the central void. This void also has large sashless windows that enable all the heat to be quickly expelled from the house on hot summer evenings. The house is serviced by a hydronic heating system that runs the hot water through the slab in the new section and into traditional radiators in the renovated existing cottage.
If you like Fox Johnson's work at Balmain House, take a look at what they did at Queens Park.