Balmain House by Fox Johnston
This house by Fox Johnston was designed to provide simple, functional, generous, private and light-filled living spaces for a young family within the constraints of a small inner city block sandwiched between 14 adjacent properties.
Our central idea was to wrap the original workers’ cottage with a continuous series of indoor and outdoor spaces. Spatially, we have used the small block to maximise 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, maximising volume, light and air.
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 ventilation, and to provide views to garden vistas and the surrounding harbour and Anzac Bridge views.
The material palette is simple, natural and textural, and sustainability and reducing energy usage were also key considerations. A natural ventilation system and hydronic heating is provided in the new house, and the project utilises recycled and sustainable building products.