Fox Johnston

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Fox Johnston
Level 1 268A Devonshire Street SURRY HILLS NSW 2010 Australia

FOX JOHNSTON is a design and ideas driven practice based in Sydney, Australia. The practice offers an experiential and holistic approach to design by integrating landscape and architecture to create compelling and thought-provoking places. FOX JOHNSTON aims to provide innovative design responses and creative solutions which respond to complex briefs – pushing the boundaries of design, materials and sustainable architecture. Design strategies are developed responding to cost effectiveness, buildability, reuse and functionality – creating inspiring environments for living, working or simply inhabiting.

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Balmain House

Balmain, 2012

This house 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.

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Cook Park Amenities

Sans Souci, 2012

This linked series of three buildings forms part of Rockdale Council’s plan to reinvigorate the Cook Park beachfront area in Sydney. Our brief was to design three amenities blocks, forming a linked, rhythmic series progressing along the coastal walk. We saw this as an opportunity to invert the public toilet block stereotype ‘ uninviting, unpleasant, and unsafe. We designed a series of compact and robust buildings, each responding to its individual site. The concept for each building revolves around a central ‘shared’ entranceway flanked by bathroom amenities on either side, providing a level of transparency through the building – both visual and physical. A timber battened skin wraps around the core further increasing the level of openness and visual connectivity. External walls give natural ventilation and light yet provide a level of privacy. Glass block windows and skylights also provide diffuse light all day. Each building houses a large water tank.

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Queens Park House

Queens Park, 2011

The project approach from the outset was to provide a functional user-friendly home for our clients and their three young children. We endeavoured to create a series of spaces that could be flexible over time. Garden areas were designed to be functional spaces for young children. In terms of footprint, this is a modest house – some 215sqm – 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. We also made a very conscious decision to orientate the new addition north to ensure optimum light and ventilation was achieved throughout the house – hence relying very little on artificial heating and cooling. Large adjustable windows and screens on this northern side allow for maximum cross breezes yet control sunlight. 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.


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