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This house was designed and built as our family home. Located in McMahons Point on a 300m2 site with 3 roads surrounding it, the project was an experiment into many new ideas for me.

The existing cottage and layout of the site created the possibility or necessity of a central courtyard space. This was also ideal in the sense that we wanted our own private domain on quite a public site.

The central idea is that the new works of the building are a series of horizontal and vertical planes that step across the site. These planes create a variation and hierarchy of spaces according to the value of the space. They allow openness and privacy, sunshade and support. Within this system many of the panels are operable, further blurring covered or uncovered spaces.

Rooms within the house are generally assigned their use by their climatic feeling; cosy room, reading room, winter and summer bathrooms, outdoor and indoor dining. The scheme also engages wherever possible with landscape elements. The end goal is for the building to appear to be reclaimed by the landscapes surrounding and within it. This contrast between the natural materials used and the natural element are something I concentrate on producing.

Within the building there are a variety of details that are experiments and displays of craftsmanship and materials. Finishes are purposefully left raw and in an honest display. Wear and tear of the building is left to be whatever it will be.

The multitude of spaces allows a great occupation of the site by many people yet there is always a backdrop of architecture, details, planting and movement that somehow bring come to the house. The term Tír na nÓg is a Gaelic myth depicting a supernatural realm of everlasting youth, beauty, health, abundance and joy.

This house was awarded the ʻWilkinson Award’ at the 2013 NSW Architecture Awards.

© Copyright 2016 Drew Heath Architects