An old tin shed may not seem like cozy or glamorous place to live, but recent renovation projects have demonstrated how spectacular transformations of such spaces can be.

In the Sydney suburb of Redfern, Australian architect Raffaello Rosselli has refurbished a corroding tin shed into a small office and studio apartment.

The crumbling tin shed stood at the rear of a residential corner lot as an iconic Australian structure. The narrow two-storey building stood out on a single-storey residential street as the only remaining shed in the area, testament to the suburb’s industrial past.

Raffaello Rosselli Tin Shed

Existing tin shed

“The shed in its current state was dilapidated and structurally unsound,” Rosselli explained. “The original tin shed was disassembled and set aside while a new timber frame was erected. The layers of corrugated iron accumulated over generations of repair were reassembled on three facades.”

The project sought to create a new use for the building as an office space and studio while preserving the shed’s historic character. To this end, Rosselli chose to retain the rusted corrugated cladding rather than replace it, so that from the street it looked mostly unchanged.

Raffaello Rosselli Tin Shed

Construction Stage

Construction began with the dismantling of the building and replacing its old skeleton with a modern timber frame. The architect then reattached the cladding over the three main facades, allowing room for three new windows, the frames of which were made of Corten Steel that mirrored the same orange tones as the rusty facade. The remainder of the facade was built with unpainted fibre cement cladding.

“The materials have been left raw and honest, in the spirit of its industrial economy,” Rosselli said.

Raffaello Rosselli Tin Shed

Interior Studio Space & Staircase

Not only was the rusty facade constructed reutilising materials, the door and the fence in the courtyard were also made of recycled timber.

In contrast with the exterior, the building’s interior has a clean finish with white walls and plywood floors. The ground floor features a studio/garage and a bathroom with a separate entrance through a courtyard. The first floor also boasts a home office with a kitchenette and a bathroom, which can be accessed by climbing the stairs straight from the street through a galvanized sheet door.

Raffaello Rosselli Tin Shed

Eastern Elevation – Galvanized Sheet Entrance Door

Rosselli said the project, which was constructed in 2011, “embraces that will continue to change with time through rust, decay and repair.”