A Repurposed Australian Tin Shed

While it has become easier to travel in a more authentic and creative way thanks to the internet and sites like Airbnb and couch surfing, this also counts for the buildings that you can stay in. This iconic tin shed in the Sydney suburb of Redfern (which is available to book through Airbnb) was built with repurposed corrugated iron.


In Australia corrugated iron is perhaps a more common building material than in European countries. This house has combined modern architecture with the rusty metal to depict the industrial past of the Sydney suburb.


Australian architect Rafaello Rosselini, whose aim was to repurpose an old tin shed at the back of a residential lot, describes the original building and the renovation process:

“The shed in its current state was dilapidated and structurally unsound. The original tin shed was disassembled and set aside while a new timber frame was erected. The layers of corrugated iron accumulated over generations of repair were reassembled on three facades.”


The grooves in the large metal sheets create an unusual facade at the front of the building, while the varying shades of rust and old paint create a worn out look you would be more likely to find in a scrap yard.


Inside the spotless white walls and the sleek wooden floors, show that salvage does not need to result in a compromise in style or quality.


On Rosselini’s website it states that the “project embraces that it will continue to change with time through rust, decay and repair.”


Photographs: Mark Syke, Richard Carr

NewspaperWood – Reinventing Old News

Every day, piles of news­papers are discarded and recycled into new paper creating a huge surplus of paper. During her study at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2003, Mieke Meijer devised a solution to use this surplus of paper into a renewed material: Newspa­perWood.

Newspaperwood photo courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood photo courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood shows the reversal of a traditional pro­duction process;  but rather than creating paper from wood, this is the other way around. This process is actually coming full circle, returning the paper into its original form after it has been discarded. When a Newspa­perWood log is cut, the layers of paper appear like lines of a wood grain or the rings of a tree and therefore resembles the aesthetic of real wood. The material can be cut, milled, sanded and generally treated like any other type of wood.


Mieke and Vij5 (Arjan van Raadshooven & Anieke Branderhorst) first met in 2007. When Vij5 discovered NewspaperWood in Mieke’s portfolio, they were so impressed that they decided to collaborate almost immediately.

. Photo courtesy of Vij5

Mieke and Vij5 with NewspaperWood. Photo courtesy of Vij5

After presenting NewspaperWood for the first time in 2008 at the Dutch Design Week Eindhoven (NL), Vij5 and Mieke continued developing the material and its production processs. In addition, they invited a group of talented young Dutch designers to experiment with NewspaperWood to design their first product collection.

Close up of Newspaperwood tabloid coffee table. Photo courtesy of Vij5

Close up of NewspaperWood tabloid coffee table. Photo courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood Tabloid Table. Photo courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood Tabloid Table. Photo courtesy of Vij5

Vij5 emphasise that NewspaperWood does not aim to be a large scale alterna­tive to wood, nor does it seek to transform all paper waste into a new material. The central theme in the project is ‘upcycling’ with which they seek to show how you can change a surplus of material into something more valuable by using it in another context.

A log of NewspaperWood on the bandsaw. Photo courtesy of Vij5

A log of NewspaperWood on the bandsaw. Photo courtesy of Vij5

Although printing techniques for newspapers are nowadays efficient enough to reduce the test prints and first unusable newspapers to a minimum, there still is enough material available. Next to that ViJ5 use ‘yesterday’s newspaper’: the newspapers that are printed but not sold and will turn out to be old news the next day anyway.


NewspaperWood Sample Series. Photo courtesy of Vij5

To actually upcycle the news­papers into new wood-like material, Vij5 (temporarily) take the newspapers out of the already existing and efficient cycle of paper-recycling. Vij5 believe that it would be ideal to be able to bring their own waste material back into the circle again.

NewspaperWood Sample Series. Photo courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood Sample Series. Photo courtesy of Vij5

Therefore they use a glue to construct the material which is free of solvents and plasticizers, as these chemicals would make it more difficult to recycle. Using these environmentally friendly methods, it is not only possible to put any sawing and sandpaper­ing waste back into the circle, but also to make the Newspa­perWood easy to recycle.