This stunning home by Drew Heath Architects (winner of the 2013 Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture) brings Cambodianesque vibes into the heart of a residential neighbourhood in Sydney. The concept behind Tír na nÓg House (Irish for ‘land of youth’) came from a visit Drew made to Angkor Wat. The aim of the design was to somehow recreate a piece of Cambodian bliss within a 21st-century residential metropolitan context. How? By re-interpreting elements found in the overgrown Khmer temple which Drew was so inspired by.

The outcome speaks for itself. Does it look like a Khmer Temple? Not one bit. But man does it look peaceful and cool!

Overgrown living façades and bamboo hedges are modern reinterpretations of that jungle-temple-look found in Cambodia. These living architectural elements not only give this house a particularly unique style, but they also serve to protect the peace harboured within the home’s walls from the busy urban routine of the neighbourhood it sits in.

Tír na nÓg House is a clever game of inside and outside space perfectly blended together through exquisitely clean detailing, clever juxtaposing spaces, and conscious design. The material palette is modern but kept warm through the use of timber which – together with the extensive glazing, pale concrete and sleek steel frame – sits comfortably within its living green counterparts. The end result is a design that is as elegant as it is quirky. We particularly like the idea of an outside walkway being turned into an inside table – a playful touch which the Coyote Ugly crew would particularly love and which simply emphasises the strong personality which oozes from every corner of Drew’s architectural design.


With its living facade and modern feel, Drew Heath has created a contemporary masterpiece which oozes with personality and sex-appal. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
With its living facade and modern feel, Drew Heath has created a contemporary masterpiece which oozes with personality and sex-appeal. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The kitchen cabinets seem to effortlessly float in mid-air thanks to the glass wall, whilst at the same time the outside is allowed in. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The kitchen cabinets seem to effortlessly float in mid-air thanks to the glass wall, whilst at the same time the outside is allowed in. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
Skylights frame the sky, whilst floor to ceiling glazed walls blend the exterior spaces with the interior. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
Skylights frame the sky, whilst floor to ceiling glazed walls blend the exterior spaces with the interior. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
This house is little more than concrete, timber, glazing and vegetation, but its in the way Drew Heath merges this essential palate that beauty is revealed. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
This house is little more than concrete, timber, glazing and vegetation, but it’s in the way Drew Heath merges this essential palate that beauty is revealed. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The living room showcases Drew Heath's blend of exotic textiles with clean modern lines. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The living room showcases Drew Heath’s blend of exotic textiles with clean modern lines. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
Inside and outside space is linked together by the physical element of a dining able which doubles up as a catwalk promenade. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
Inside and outside space is linked together by the physical element of a dining able which doubles up as a catwalk promenade. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The overgrown living-facade is one of the house's main features, inspired by a trip to the ancient jungle city of Angkor in Cambodia. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The overgrown living-facade is one of the house’s main features, inspired by a trip to the ancient jungle city of Angkor in Cambodia. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The house is a series of inside and outside spaces linked together by leading views and clean geometries. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
The house is a series of inside and outside spaces linked together by leading views and clean geometries. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
Occasional timber cladding softens the geometry of the architecture and create privacy. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]
Occasional timber cladding softens the geometry of the architecture and create privacy. [Source: Drew Heath Architecture]