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Architecture: Foyn-Johanson House

March 9, 2010

Harrison & White’s extension to a house in Northcote is shaped by the path of the sun, maximising the size of the house without losing sunlight to the garden.

This innovative house extension in Northcote uses both planning constraints (through the building envelope) and the path of the sun to generate a subtracted barn-like form at the rear of an existing weatherboard house. The subtracted sun path enables the rear garden and outdoor living area to enjoy direct sunlight, correcting the inherited orientation of the house. The rear facade is a sustainable artificial timber screen system used for sunshading, balustrading and view screening. The side walling is treated like a roof on the above ground level.

The house design process involved the application of a parametric subtractive solar technique called “Subtracto-Sun” developed for maximising daylight amenity preservation. The client’s brief required the increase in size of an existing dwelling by adding a living area, two new bedrooms and attic space without losing sunlight to the back garden area. A digital model was created for the maximum permissible envelope under local planning regulations and the Subtracto-Sun technique was employed to sculpt the envelope to ensure maximum solar access to the nominated garden space during a designated time period.

  • Roy Batty March 11th, 2010 3:33 am

    couldn’t you take any photos from different angle – there are 4 from almost the same angle!!
    it would be good to get a better idea of how the house works from the inside – where people live!!


  • William Randolph March 11th, 2010 3:45 am

    Very perceptive Roy!! Perhaps there were photos taken from a different angle but not published on this site.


  • anna March 12th, 2010 12:57 am

    more photos, hurrah!

    the rather lovely block of flats to the east would probably explain the minimal number of photos taken looking in that direction…


  • Paul Wakelam_A Workshop March 12th, 2010 6:25 pm

    Hi Stuart,
    I hope you are well. I am specially liking the ‘pushed over’ house elevation to street. Nice work.


  • Roy Batty March 16th, 2010 5:49 am

    thanks for the additional photos.
    looks great!
    I am thinking it could be applied to commercial towers in the city with interesting sculptural result – rather than just creating an irrelevant “roof feature”.


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