Tinshed by
Raffaello Rosselli


Australian architect Raffaello Rosselli has repurposed a corroding tin shed in Sydney to create a small office and studio apartment (+ slideshow).

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Photograph by Richard Carr

Rather than replace the crumbling structure, Raffaello Rosselli chose to retain the rusty corrugated cladding of the two-storey building so that from the outside it looks mostly unchanged.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli

"The humble tin shed is an iconic Australian structure," he explains. "As the only remaining shed in the area it is a unique reminder of the suburb's industrial past."

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli

The architect began by taking the building apart and replacing its old skeleton with a modern timber frame. He then reattached the cladding over three facades, allowing room for three new windows.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli

The frames of the windows are made from sheets of Corten steel that display the same orange tones as the retained facade. "The materials have been left raw and honest, in the spirit of its industrial economy," adds Rosselli.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli

In contrast with the exterior, the inside of the building has a clean finish with white walls and plywood floors in both the ground-floor living space and the first-floor office.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli

Photography is by Mark Syke, apart from where otherwise indicated.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli

Here's a project description from Raffaello Rosselli:


The humble tin shed is an iconic Australian structure. The project was to repurpose an existing tin shed at the rear of a residential lot, in the inner-city suburb of Redfern, Sydney.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Photograph by Richard Carr

Located on a corner the existing shed was a distinctive building, a windowless, narrow double-storey structure on a single-storey residential street. As the only remaining shed in the area it is a unique reminder of the suburb's industrial past.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Original building

The project brief was to create a new use for the building as an office space and studio. The shed in its current state was dilapidated and structurally unsound. 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.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Ground and first floor plans - click here for larger image

Corten steel window boxes cut through the form and extend out over the lane and street, opening up the once windowless space. The materials have been left raw and honest, in the spirit of its industrial economy. The west face was clad in expressed joint fibre-cement panels, while plywood floors and joinery add warmth to the interior.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Cross section - click here for larger image

The project embraces that it will continue to change with time through rust, decay and repair.

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Long section - click here for larger image

Designer: Raffaello Rosselli
Location: Sydney, Australia
Year: 2011

Tinshed by Raffaello Rosselli
Elevations - click here for larger image
  • Annemieke

    Different take on heritage. Interesting!

  • ronia

    I want a client who would like to have a design like this! Why am I not able to find one? :(

    • Paul

      I'd like to be that client. Where are you based?

      • nicolas

        I’m in Beijing, China.

      • juan

        How about Santiago, Chile?

  • zizi

    Like the idea but the result is just average.

  • johan

    Favela chic.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Chic is for shoes, not architecture.

      • sarute78

        Maybe for your architecture… I'd be quite happy if my home was defined chic!

  • jrt


  • Arch

    When it´s finished, it´s going to look great!

  • Lorena

    Nice to be rich and copy a poor family. What a bad reference. Why do you think poverty is cool and photographable? But even worse, copying it for living?! You definitely do not live in a poor country.

  • Wanderer

    I hope it is well insulated or air conditioned. All this iron gonna heat up fast and mighty on a sunny day.

  • sacks

    I do not understand the relationship between external facade and interior finish. As shabby as it is from outside, it’s even more sophisticated from inside. Looks like a rich person’s hideout.

  • Deepti

    Looks like a slum building from the biggest slums of India. If tin is humble, why is it not humble on the inside? Why create slums with HVAC and awesome interiors? Doesn’t make sense. Fake, fake!

  • Concerned Citizen

    Headline: “Nice windows found in a scrap heap”.

  • Nick Simpson

    Not sure why several posters are upset that the interior doesn’t reflect the exterior. Think about the majority of homes; the exterior materials and interior ones are usually very different.

    Why should you have to live in something that feels like a slum just because you want to respect the site’s original character in some way? Personally I like the sense of contrast here.

  • M.O.

    What’s everyone going on about? This is an old shed in a suburb, not a shanty in a slum. Every old neighborhood has residues of the past interwoven within it, and it seems that this project is simply preserving a little “taste” of that past.

    As for the interiors, they’re as humble as can be- it’s just dry wall and wood flooring. No opulence to speak of.

  • michaelbanak

    Beautiful work. Nice use of old and new. The corrugated iron is glorious in its rusted form in decay.