Project: Queen’s Park House
Architects: Fox Johnston
Location: Sydney, Australia
Area: 2,314 sf
Photographs by: Simon Wood
Queen’s Park House by Fox Johnston
The Queen’s Park House in Sydney was designed by Fox Johnston to be a functional and user-friendly space for a growing family. The house includes a playroom that can be converted into a study or bedroom in the future, as well as a guest retreat that can be used as a bedroom for a teenager or grandparent.
The garden areas were designed for young children and feature native plantings and vegetable gardens. The upstairs parent’s retreat is located close to the children’s area and offers privacy when needed.
The house features robust materials such as brick, concrete, and timber for longevity and durability. The orientation of the new addition provides optimum light and ventilation, relying very little on artificial heating and cooling. Large adjustable windows and screens allow for maximum cross breezes, with fixed and sliding screens to control heat penetration in midsummer.
The project approach from the outset was to provide a functional, practical and user friendly home for our clients and their three young children. We endeavored to create a series of spaces in the old and new house that could be flexible over time – a playroom was designed for the children which could be converted into a study or additional bedroom at a later stage. A guest retreat accessed from the laneway could also be a future teenagers bedroom, or a space for a grandparent if need be.
Garden areas were designed to be functional spaces for young children with areas of native planting throughout and a series of discretely placed vegetable gardens. The upstairs parent’s retreat was designed to be close enough to the children’s domain without compromising privacy. It also was designed to offer our clients a separate space to retreat to if need be. In terms of footprint, this is a modest house but more than caters for a growing family of 5. Every part of the house was designed to be used with no superfluous rooms so to speak.
Robust materials of brick, concrete and timber were chosen for their robust nature as well as their longevity and durability over time. The detailed concrete hoods that wrap around the façade 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.
We also made a conscious decision to orientate the new addition to ensure optimum light and ventilation was achieved throughout the house – hence relying very little on artificial heating and cooling. As a result, 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.