Shed Converted to Home in Sydney looking down

Originally a coach-building workshop, later a studio for local artists and now a small and simple single-family house, a basic brick shell in Sydney has adapted to all kinds of uses over time. This shed converted into a home shows off the potential of a ragged-looking structure if you have the initiative to transform it.

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Shed converted before

It is not hard to see how the 200-year-old building fell into relative disrepair and ended up for sale on the open market a few years back – but its owners-to-be had their eye out for just such a blank-slate opportunity.

Shed Converted to Home in Sydney after exterior

Working with Richard Peters Associates (photos by Justin Alexander), they set about making good use of what was already there – four solid walls with thermal mass and openings for cross-breezes (together requiring no active heating or cooling).

shed converted to home interior
Shed Converted to Home in Sydney

The infill was done not with self-conscious modesty or faux simplicity, just practical and clean additions to reflect the difference between old and new and serve fresh functions for its now-and-future occupants.

“Tucked away at the end of a lane in the Sydney suburb of Randwick, close to The Spot and in walking distance to Coogee beach, is a 74 sqm simple brick industrial structure built in 1890 by two Irish blacksmiths (brothers) to house their coach building business.”

Shed before conversion
Shed Converted to Home in Sydney walls

“Over the past 120 years the building has also operated as a motorcycle repair shop, secondhand washing machine warehouse, a builder’s workshop, and more recently a studio for local artists. Having grown up in the area, one of the owners knew the building well and when it came up for sale in 2003, took a leap of faith and invested in a project that presented an exciting opportunity to develop a smaller, sustainable and more efficient way to live, while challenging the convention that ʻbigger is betterʼ.”

“The project responds to the city’s growing need for adaptive reuse, meets the constraints of a limited budget and addresses the long term needs of owners who wanted a home that would reduce the use of traditional (costly/polluting) energy requirements – all without compromising the level of amenity or comfort, in fact improving it, while maximizing privacy and renewing/greening a forgotten lane way.”