An Architect's Own Home – Ballast Point House by Fox Johnston
Ballast Point, NSW, Australia
An architect’s own home designed for multi-generational living, the Ballast Point House by Fox Johnston uses a simple palette of materials such as concrete, masonry, Accoya timber and birch plywood to create an experimental setting with its own sense of identity.
The robust family home unfolds over multiple levels on a sloping site. Key to the success of the home is the seamless integration of sustainable and environmental principles as well as the connectivity to nature. Opening up the residence to make it as permeable as possible, natural light and vegetation are introduced at every opportunity.
Having lived in the dilapidated home for four years prior to the re-design, the home’s owner and lead architect of the project Emili Fox possessed a wealth of understanding of the site’s potential and context. As the architect’s home, the project speaks to this innate understanding and combines refinement with efficiencies and ingenuity.
Designed using a palette of simple materials, the interiors are calm and welcoming, with the robust materiality connecting the many levels to the earth below. The simple materials will endure over time and contribute to the home’s sustainable principles. Concrete and masonry provide thermal mass to passively cool and heat the home, while timber screening controls light and shade.
As a dual-occupancy residence, the home’s self-contained apartment allows for multi-generational living. As Emili’s own home, this dual-occupancy design was part an experimentation in architecture that responds to contemporary requirements and partly a personal response to her own family’s needs, as it will allow her or her partner’s parents to eventually live with them in the future.
Cleverly combining a knowing understanding of the site with a clear vision for her own home, architect Emili Fox’s approach of using a simple palette of materials along with environmentally sustainable principles both challenges and delights. The result is a contemporary home whose architecture and interior design will remain relevant and enduring into the future.