Japanese-Inspired Living in Sydney by

Issue 22 · Australia and Beyond · May 30, 2012

Japanese-Inspired Living in Sydney

Issue 22 · Australia and Beyond · May 30, 2012

An architect and a design editor transform an 800-square-foot industrial shed in Sydney into a sustainable home, inspired by Japanese small-space living.

When Heidi Dokulil (she's the editor at The Australian Design Unit) and her partner, Richard Peters (of Richard Peters Associates), first spotted this 800-square-foot building located on 1,000 square feet of land, they were charmed by its proximity to the beach and by its humble industrial origins. Inspired by the Japanese principles of small-space living, they devised a carefully considered plan that maximizes every square inch of living space. To see more of the firm's work, go to Richard Peters Associates.

Photography by Justin Alexander.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-steel-mesh-stair

Above: A steel mesh staircase which was constructed offsite and craned into the building connects the existing entry level to the mezzanine level of the newly inserted two-level extension.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-exterior-courtyard-mezzanine

Above: A view from the mezzanine reveals a new courtyard garden, achieved by removing an existing bathroom in order to open up the northern wall.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-six-meter-high-interior-volume

Above: The main living area maintains the building's original 19-foot-high interior volume. The ceiling is lined with corrugated steel from the old roof, and a second roof was laid over the top with insulation placed in between.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-ground-floor-study

Above: In the newly built two-floor extension, an integrated system of floor-to-ceiling sash windows and sliding doors is used in both the study on the ground floor and in the bedroom on the upper floor, allowing each room to open up to the exterior and facilitating cross ventilation as required.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-bedroom

Above: The new extension is lined with plywood sheets.

Above: A small bath is tucked under the eaves.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-steel-mesh-outdoor-deck

Above: The same steel mesh used for the interior stair is used on the upper outdoor deck to allow light and air to flow through the levels.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-Zinc-sliding-door

Above: The shed sits at the end of a lane in the Sydney suburb of Randwick and responds to the city's growing need for adaptive reuse. The architects created a 13-foot-wide zinc sliding door that opens the house to the outdoors.

Shed-Sydney-Richard-Peters-Associates-Heidi-Dokulil-existing-building

Above: Dokulil and Peters were attracted to the thermal mass of the brick walls and concrete floors of the original building, which in its 127 years of existence had also been used as a motorcycle repair shop, a washing machine warehouse, a builder's workshop, and, more recently, a studio for local artists.



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