Challenging expectations of what a rural storage structure can encompass, Uber Shed 2 by Jost Architects sees the rework and expansion of an existing framework as the basis for the resulting dark and refined building that becomes not just a functional shed, but a place of retreat.
Born out of a need to house a growing assemblage of gathered collectables, and to act as a display for the client’s treasured vintage car collection, Uber Shed 2 is the adaptation, expansion and reworking of an existing structural framework already on site. Jost Architects brings a level of refinement to the project through the layering of timber, a dark and engaging palette, and the approach and resolution of finish. Built by Sunset Constructions, with landscape design by Colin Hyett, Uber Shed 2 is the second rural property that Patrick Jost, founding director of Jost Architects, has designed and delivered along the Mornington Peninsula. The project offered a particular level of freedom as, he says, “the great thing about designing a shed is that there is no preconceived idea about what a well-designed or contemporary shed looks like, especially in Australia. Sheds in Australia have always been utilitarian structures. I think that old ones can be quite beautiful in their large open spans and the weathering.”
Upon the architects’ engagement, the site was already occupied by a four-year-old blue corrugated shed, still with its factory gleam and shine. The obvious approach was to soften and enrich the finish and expand its structural membrane to house the client’s collection. Patrick describes, “[the client’s] collection included vintage cars, WWII army jeeps, model planes, GI Joes, art, old signs, signed guitars and antique tram ticket dispensers. The problem the client had, apart from the need for more room, was that he couldn’t get his classic, stainless-steel Airstream bus in due to the access being too low in height and could just not see how keeping the existing shed was going to work.” He continues, “We ended up recladding the old(ish) shed in a better colour and cutting out one bay of steel to alter the head height which tied it into the new area. The other part of the brief was more than double the size of the area for all his “stuff” (he called it this but it’s far more like a collection).”
Describing Jost Architects’ approach, Patrick says “I concentrated on keeping the structure as simple as possible with an abstract form and using timber cladding with the expectation that it will weather over time. It was a long way from any neighbours or other structures, and it sits a lot higher on the site to the house on the property. The large area of timber cladding sits easily within the hues of the huge gums and won’t be out of place as it silvers.” The materiality of the site and resulting responses became the inspiration for the planning and material palette. In describing openings and site connectivity, Patrick continues, “Orientation was driven by the position of the existing shed. Glazed sliding doors at each end offer both light and ventilation. There is an acrylic highlight for additional internal natural lighting, and the corner glazing was there to take in the view of the valley it overlooks.”
Selected together with The History Vintage Antiques, the interior furniture and objects were conceived as a curated extension of the client’s love for collecting. In describing the success of a project, Patrick says, “You very rarely get a bad building with a great client and builder. The clients loved it so much, they seriously thought about moving out of the house and into the shed,” which is testament to its fulfilment of its brief and capturing of its true value to the client. Upon completion, the coming-together of its parts, and the vertically extended elements balancing out the lower volume, see the structure take on a linear but still recognisably traditional form.
Uber Shed 2 combines elements of the familiar, through the expression of the shed vernacular we all know, with a level of refinement not usually afforded to such structures. Jost Architect’s resulting form sees an economical reuse of an existing structure, reworked and subtly extended to propose a warm, inviting and elevated place that celebrates the client’s collection.