The Cox Group of Architects originated in 1962 as a partnership between Philip Cox and Ian McKay. Their first buildings drew inspiration from the Australian farm and industrial vernacular and were widely regarded as the emergence of the first genuinely Australian contemporary architecture.
Most notable among the early works were St Andrews Boys Home at Emerald Hill near Sydney and the C.B. Alexander Agricultural College in the New South Wales Hunter Valley. The College was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Sulman Medal in 1964 and was described by the architectural historian J.M. Freeland as “epitomising the Sydney School of Architecture”, which was an informal group of architects seeking to create direct responses to Sydney’s unique topography and climate.