Little Tokyo, Randwick

Influenced by the city of Tokyo where land is scarce and buildings are designed for very small sites, the owners set out to create a home within the fabric of a former farriers’ workshop built in 1890.

A series of insertions have been carefully stitched into the simple brick shed that satisfy the needs of contemporary living, informed by attributes including a long, northern elevation; a double-height volume; laneway access; and views over neighbouring gardens.

Entry is via the original roller shutter opening, now a sliding zinc door that buffers the laneway. The living/dining area maintains the building’s volume and a new courtyard garden opens up the northern wall allowing light to penetrate the interior. Bathroom/bedroom insertions are set back further within the building to create a second north-facing courtyard, allowing light and ventilation to all rooms. The simple and carefully detailed palette of materials – plywood, steel, and brickwork – act as both structure and finish.

The location demonstrates the resilience of its heritage fabric and reinforces the broader opportunities of adaptive reuse.

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