Queens Park House provides a functional, practical and user-friendly home for the clients and their three young children. Fox Johnston Architects endeavored to create a series of spaces in the old and new house that could be flexible over time -- a playroom for the children can be converted into a study or additional bedroom at a later stage. A guest retreat accessed from the laneway could become a future teenagers bedroom, or a space for a grandparent if need be. This inbuilt flexibility will serve the family as they grow and change in the house.
Garden areas are designed to be functional spaces for young children with areas of native planting throughout and a series of discretely placed vegetable gardens for home grown food.
Materials of brick, concrete and timber were chosen for their robust nature and their longevity and durability over time. The detailed concrete hoods that wrap around the facade were designed for weather and sun protection as well as a strong design element. The expressed timber cladding on the ceiling and walls add warmth and texture to the space.
In terms of footprint, this is a modest house. But it more than caters for a growing family of five -- proving that considered design can be smaller and more efficient without compromising functionality. Every part of the house was designed to be used -- with no superfluous spaces.
The upstairs parents' retreat is close enough to the children's domain without compromising privacy. It was designed to offer the clients a separate space to retreat to if need be.
Sustainability and Passive Heating and Cooling
The new addition is oriented to ensure optimum light and ventilation throughout the house – hence relying very little on artificial heating and cooling.
- The majority of the addition is north facing, with large overhangs to the west to control direct sunlight.
- Large adjustable windows and screens on this northern side allow for maximum cross breezes throughout the old and new house, with the ability of fixed and sliding screens to control heat penetration in midsummer.
- Concrete ground and upper floor construction provides good thermal mass throughout with inbuilt hydronic heating controlling room temperatures in winter.
- The lush green roof over the garage and guest retreat also provides good thermal mass and heat control in the summer months.
- A roof light adds interest in this roof garden as well as allowing natural daylight to filter through to the guest retreat below.
Queens Park House
Queens Park House shows us the benefits of planning ahead -- especially when dealing with a growing, changing family. With foresight, the design can be modest without compromising space or functionality at any stage of the family's growth cycle.