Joshua Duncan graduated from the College of Western Australia in 2016 and established his observe shortly afterwards on the again of a formative interval spent within the workplace of Ferguson Architects. A seminal Perth observe helmed by Ronald Jack “Gus” Ferguson for greater than 50 years, the workplace is well-known for its incubation of gifted graduates. Ferguson developed a sort of no-nonsense strategy to structure that values a directness and a simplicity of expression, participating with a historical past of common architectural form-making and an emphasis on the excellence between shade and lightweight. Josh’s work extends these foundational concepts, translating them into the suburban home with a specific give attention to financial system and utility.
Josh has constructed up a small however constant physique of labor comprising home commissions for household and his prolonged social community, and, most just lately, a home for himself, the place his workplace is now based mostly. He works primarily in south-west Western Australia, from a suburb simply outdoors of Busselton, on the normal land of the Wadandi folks. He describes his observe as “creating extraordinary buildings with extraordinary means.” For Josh, this implies pushing acquainted supplies and varieties to create extraordinarily lean however participating architectural works with a minimal of element, fuss and value however with most area, flexibility and amenity.
His first challenge, Jindong Home, was inbuilt 2017 for a stud supervisor and his household. A 3-bedroom, two-bathroom home, it adopts a easy rectangular type. With a single-pitch skillion roof and Zincalume metal sheeting to the outside, it’s a strong and hard-wearing shed for dwelling in, fastidiously sited to miss the foaling paddocks. All of the rooms open off a single hall that runs the size of the northern aspect of the home, with a altering sample of glazing alongside it to regulate the photo voltaic entry. Josh describes the home as “a easy construct with simple carpentry,” and this simplicity allowed him to be the labour assistant to the carpenter on web site – an instructive expertise that has formed subsequent work.
This was adopted by two residences on neighbouring blocks in a newly developed housing property. One – Kealy Home – was for his brother, and the opposite – Vasse Home – was for himself. The 2 homes have been designed collectively as companion items to benefit from federal- and state-government funding for brand spanking new house contracts and vital COVID-19 stimulus constructing grants. Increasing on the directness of Jindong Home, each Kealy and Vasse draw on the language, materiality and building logic of the amount constructing sector. However by way of their planning, they provide a considerably completely different mannequin for dwelling. The conventions of fences and entrance gates are absent, reconditioning the connection between home and road. Internally, there are not any ensuite bogs, which suggests a bed room will be simply reconfigured into a house workplace, a examine area or an additional dwelling space. This flexibility is additional strengthened by way of every bed room having a sliding door that allows direct entry to outdoors.
All three homes show a dedication to pursuing no-nonsense, low-tech passive photo voltaic rules – or, as Josh describes it, “solar worshipping.” However additionally they prioritize the event of an architectural resolution that doesn’t dominate the lives of the occupants. These homes are uncomplicated, unfussy, sturdy and versatile. There’s simply sufficient construction during which to really feel snug, however it’s sufficiently unfastened that the home can take a again seat to the drama of life.
Decreasing the structural expression to the pragmatic minimal has supplied an area for lives to easily unfold and, as a corollary, it lets Josh’s curiosity in idiosyncratic and cautious particulars shine. Notably evident in these homes is his transforming of ordinary, mass-produced parts. Pushed past their conventional use and positioned in unfamiliar areas, they supply moments of pleasure and inject the work with a droll humour. An affordable bamboo curler blind from the ironmongery shop turns into a chic shading system alongside the verandah; a stormwater drain grate is elevated right into a ceremonial entrance step; and, at Jindong Home, a protracted line of home windows positioned at ankle top alongside the hall gives a second of animation and sudden pleasure. These are the sorts of issues that make Josh’s work so distinctive. “I’m keen on what occurs when fixtures, issues and stuff – objects of life and occupancy – are ignored within the open,” he displays. “Possibly this lends some sort of ‘honesty,’ however I additionally assume it merely imbues a home area with a pleasing consolation, character and life.”