Pigeon Shed 2014

A dilapidated and neglected inner city warehouse full of pigeons, transformed into a home for a young couple and child. The underlying principle was to breathe new life into the building, retaining and rebuilding much of the existing, while overlaying the new programme without losing the character and spatial experience a large warehouse offers.

A central triple height void provides a dramatic entry and party congregation space, while also allowing light to fall through the building. The circulation paths are articulated in concrete forms that cross and spiral up through the void with the counterpoint of a shining elliptical copper clad (lift enclosing) tower, that engages with high level landscaped courtyard and glass ceiling. The main outdoor space flows from the dining area holding a glass-fronted pool across its width. The interior reinforces the design philosophy with sand blasted walls, exposed and restored steel and timber structure in dialogue with a new palette of materials and forms.

Externally, the contribution to the context and public at large is a revitalised warehouse building typical of the locale, continuing the heritage with high cultural benefit. Introduced material and form to the external is intentionally industrial and contextual – steel, concrete and cement sheet.

Design decisions, both personal and for the public arena, as well as the selection of finishes and fittings were deeply important to the clients with a philosophy that integrated allied disciplines of conservation, landscape, structure and services. This continued with their approach to environmental sustainability and an economy of construction. The building is large and programme dense combined with a requirement to achieve architecture of high merit led to an expensive build, which was acceptable, pending an agreed intention to minimise wastage of any kind, which led to an effective value outcome.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Simpson Design Associates

HYDRAULIC ENGINEER
ITM Design

HERITAGE CONSULTANT
Urbis

PLANNING CONSULTANT
Mersonn

GREEN WALL
Ex Parrot

PHOTOGRAPHER
Jeffrey Simpson