Pigeon Shed

Pigeon Shed

MCK Architects
Sydney, NSW, Australia | View Map
Project Year
Private Houses
Richard Glover
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Swan LakeCaesarstone
FixturesFranke Home Solutions
Super white graniteArtedomus
AppliancesFisher & Paykel

Product Spec Sheet
Super white granite

Pigeon Shed

MCK Architects as Architects

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


The planning is stratified with formal living, entertaining areas and workspace / studio at ground level, informal living above with kitchen, dining and lounge, and sleeping spaces on the top level contained within a box atop the original structure with a new cement sheet-clad roof form and an outdoor synthetic turf terrace. Particular brief requirements included a large dedication of space to entertaining, with capacity for an interchanging collection of large art pieces to be hung and / or positioned. The oversized entry door allows for a future sculpture piece to be delivered. These would be at ground level with the studio and library areas.


The result is an integrated approach to life for the clients with home, office and function / gallery space combined in the one building, allowing a streamlined approach to work / life balance and a variety of adaptable spaces within which to grow and change. 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 an elliptical copper clad, lift enclosing tower that engages with a 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 sandblasted walls, and an 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.


Though a large house for a small (but growing) family, our client was concerned about having positive environmental impact. As much as possible the existing structure and materials were re-used. Airconditioning was included only to supplement extensive potential for passive cooling with the house effectively protected from the northern/western sun in the summer months and able to be opened from end to end and side to side to achieve extensive cross ventilation. Lower floors provide thermal mass and deep shaded areas to help maintain cool temperatures. Heating is provided by solar gas boosted hydronic systems, with the remainder of the solar panels on the roof also serving to supplement the power supply. With the potential for future battery installation and the re-use of all rainwater on site (though not for potable water), this large house should have a smaller environmental footprint than a lot of its smaller contemporaries.


A two year construction period overseen and project managed by the owner delivered a mutually agreed fine result that meets the us ers needs and contributes positively to a changing inner city suburb steeped in industrial heritage.


Material Used :
1. Joinery + Screen: American Walnut
2. Foyer: New York Marble slab
3. Kitchen benchtops: Artedomus ‘Super white granite’, Caesarstone ‘Organic White’, ‘Swan Lake’
4. Joinery: Murobond polyurethane paint ‘Staysail’
5. Steel: Murobond bridge paint ’Natural Grey’
6. Lift shaft: Craft Metals copper sheeting
7. Bathrooms: Travertine ‘Sterling Silver’
8. Fixtures: Franke, Kaldewei, Stormtech, Tece, Via Manzoni tapware
9. Appliances: Fisher & Paykel, Miele, Sub Zero

This story is available in multiple languages
Project Credits
Hydraulic Engineer
Planning consultant
Structural engineer
Heritage Consultant
Products used in this project
Permeability Housed
next project

Permeability Housed

Private Houses
Studio 11+1a, 12A Jalan 17/54, 46400 Petaling Jaya Selangor, Malaysia - Build completed in 2021
View Project