With just an old worker's cottage and a remarkably small lot, Fox Johnston designed the striking Balmain House for a young couple in Sydney, Australia. The architects used a variety of techniques to make the small dwelling seem larger than it is while incorporating a natural and often recycled material palette. The energy-efficient home is also heated hydronically.
Fox Johnston had a tiny lot to work with, though it wouldn’t appear that way thanks to a deliberate effort to create the illusion of space. In part this is achieved by creating constant communication between the indoors and outdoors, and by floating a second timber story above the first. This is the master ensuite bedroom complete with a library and study.
Daylighting and natural ventilation go hand in hand with the indoor/outdoor blurring thanks to large operable openings. Heating hydronically, the home has a small energy footprint. And every effort was made to use sustainable or even recycled construction materials and interior finishings. Overlooking the Syndey harbor and iconic Anzac Bridge, this old worker’s cottage is now a striking modern home that feels like paradise.