Über Shed 2




Red Hill, Victoria, Australia

Traditional Owners





Derek Swalwell

A one-and-a-half hour’s drive from Melbourne, the owner of the ‘Über Shed’, was simply looking for a much larger shed. There wasn’t sufficient room or height clearance in the existing shed for his classic 1950s air stream bus, his vintage cars, his motor bikes or other vintage memorabilia. The rudimentary kit-style shed on the property simply wasn’t large enough.

While the owner who could not see any other way than to demolish the virtually new shed and start again, we could see how the cobalt-blue could be repurposed and form part of a new and even larger building. To tie the two sheds together, timber battens wrap around both structures, concealing the existing water tank. And to allow the vintage bus to be stored, the original shed was lightly touched, creating a new clearance height. Storage areas were also expanded, as were the ancillary spaces, including a separate pool room together with a retreat. Dark and moody, it includes taxidermy displayed on blackened plywood walls.

The new shed orientated to the north-west, and benefiting from floor-to-ceiling glazing, and a raked ceiling, benefits from views over a sculpture garden and valley. To allow the owner to enjoy his unique collection, the north-west corner of the shed, has an entertainment area defined by recycled parquetry floors and an open fire place. While the focus in winter is towards the open fire place, for the summer months there’s an outdoor bath, perched on a new deck, that allows an appreciation of the idyllic bush setting.

This brief was initiated after the owner came across our original Über shed at Main Ridge, not far from this site. While that was one only room, it seemed to express what could be achieved in a rustic setting challenging the notion of what a shed can be. This Über Shed 2 is considerably more complex, with shelving and storage conceived for an extensive and diverse, collection of items, from vintage cars and toys, to far equipment. There’s even a billy cart in the mix. So, it was paramount not only to find a ‘home’ for each item, irrespective of scale but, as importantly, to make the two sheds appear to be as the one entity. And while it may have required less thought to dispense with the original shed and start afresh, it was far more sensible to salvage what was already there, a shed only a few years old that will last for decades to come.