Aiken Avenue Apartments contains a mixture of 2-3 storey post-war and contemporary single private residences with a number of multi-unit apartment buildings interspersed. The subject site is bound by larger residential properties to the rear with an assortment of larger, high density residential buildings on Queenscliff Rd.

The proposed development aims to replace the existing three storey apartment building with a new four storey apartment building containing three bedroom apartments. The proposal will terrace with the fall of the site, responding to the natural topography and character of the area providing opportunities for a green roof; further integrating the new precinct into the context of densely tree lined streets, backyards and parks, while being considerate of the views and amenity of the neighbouring properties.

By Toby Breakspear, Ciaran Acton, John Kang, Matthew Argent, 2017-Current.


This invited City of Sydney competition sought to max out a site in the Ashmore Precinct with 33 000 sqm of apartments, childcare and retail. The design response to this was to interrogate the given building envelope brief and to propose strengthened connections to the village centre. The courtyard typology, as encouraged by the brief, was embraced to produce quiet oases in the midst of an upcoming neighbourhood. Across the three apartment buildings, a similar rhythm expressed through different materials becomes key to identifying this development as a family of apartments.

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew, 2017.


Rather than align with the street grid, a building is proposed with a herringbone plan that arranges 180 apartments on axis with iconic views of Sydney’s harbour, its bridge and opera house. Every apartment faces north, away from the neighbouring freeway traffic and towards the water; an orientation also ideal for capturing Sydney’s sun and sea breeze. Without compromise to structural efficiency, a staggered floor plate arrangement enables each apartment’s outdoor terrace to be a double height private room. A generosity and dynamism is given to the building’s facade, an edge made ideal for basking in the harbour spectacle.

By Toby Breakspear, Alberto Quizon, in collaboration with Kann Finch (Executive Architect), 2015.

Invited Design Competition, 2nd Place


In a neighbourhood where most houses stare at the harbour view from enormous glass facades, Hill House’s 35 degree skillion roofs create a quieter dwelling in far richer dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Hill House’s roofs intimately enclose an interior against the hill-side. The renovation works enhance this spatial quality and sense of connectedness with the site. Whilst only minor surgical demolition is needed to reorganise and join with the outdoors, Hill House is completely resurfaced with a natural palette. A durable exterior of concrete, stone and zinc will patina and blend with the landscape tones. Through finely framed glazing, the harbour’s presence spills indoors. The water’s soft blue reflections animate an interior of warm timber joinery, oak horizontal planes, crisp white vaulted volumes and soft shear curtains.

A new concrete podium is added that anchors Hill House to the sandstone escarpment. Its horizontal form grounds the soaring roof planes above. The podium’s terraced levels and a generous staircase bring the pool and lower garden within easy reach of the raised interior. Carved within the concrete mass are a cellar, sauna and entertaining room. The cliff-face’s sandstone surface is encased with these cave-like rooms. Temperature is moderated by mass and earth. The podium roof is an expansive teak surface made seamless with inside. The low seating edge mimics a boat deck to feel the harbour without interruption.

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew, Ciaran Acton, 2016-Current. Built by A.M. Custom Builders. Structural Engineering by Partridge.


Springwood Library can become a serene lounge room for the Blue Mountains community; a room filled with books, fitted with approachable technology, framed by a robust structure and imbued with the presence of the surrounding bush. The existing library is a closed building, designed when libraries were hushed places for solitary reading. The renovation will create a more dynamic space that performs the modern library’s evolving role as a public place to meet, learn and interact.

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew, in collaboration with McGregor Coxall Landscape Architects, 2016.


Breakspear Architects have been selected to design a new community activation centre for Jordan Springs East. It is a unique opportunity to provide amenity for a newly constructed suburb that connects the town centre and the neighbouring residential estate. The structure is embedded into the existing landscape taking advantage of the views to Wianamatta Regional Park and provides an accessible roof as an extension of the park. The amphitheatre offers the community a range of flexible uses from cultural events and performances, to night markets and exhibitions. Lendlease and Penrith Council engaged Breakspear to deliver a small infrastructure project to support public amenity for a small public park nestled between a shopping centre and residential development. We provided a high quality design solution which demonstrates an understanding of community sentiment and the ecological and cultural heritage of the area.


By Toby Breakspear, Ciaran Acton, John Kang, 2017-Current. For LendLease


Occupying the site is a traditional residential terrace house with a new tram line under construction along Devonshire Street to the front of the property. With the increasing number of people arriving by tram, it is an ideal moment to re-visit the residential terrace house typology to find new ways of living in the heart of an increasingly lively Sydney city. By introducing a bar/restaurant to the ground floor, a more public use of the building is proposed that will embrace the busier street-life. By raising the residence to Level 1 and 2, a degree of privacy is created without the need to alter the building’s heritage facade. A narrow courtyard can be carved from the new rear-extension volume as a means of providing sunlight and ventilation to both the commercial and residential uses. The interestingly elongated spaces that result are given windows along the courtyard length, thus blurring the line between indoors and outdoors, creating a new type of room within Sydney’s favourite type of medium-density housing.

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew


The Elara Bridges were designed in collaboration with Paterson Design Studio for Winten Property Group. The aim was to humanise 7 engineered traffic bridges as the main car and pedestrian circulation infrastructure to a new Sydney suburb. A family of pre-fabricated architectural details including handrails, lighting and barriers were detailed at a human scale. We provided careful consideration between the infrastructure and connection to the landscape. 

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew in collaboration with Paterson Design Studio


The Belvoir Theatre project was an opportunity to work with one of Sydney’s leading cultural institutions to develop architectural strategies and designs for the foyer, street facade and entry-way. A new bar/cafe was introduced for additional vitality and expanded offering to the public. A new awning, signage, outdoor furniture and facade restoration helped lift the public face of Belvoir Theatre.

Renovation and refurbishment of a public institution to improve the visitor and Theatre experience. The refurbishment allowed for improved accessibility and entrance to the Theatre. We undertook a number stakeholder engagement meetings to incorporate the collaborative ideas into the refurbishment.

By Toby Breakspear, in collaboration with Tomek Archer, 2012-2014.


A second CBD is evolving to cater for Sydney’s vast scale and increasing population and changing distribution. Parramatta will form a second CBD to service the expanding west of the city. The growth of Parramatta creates an interesting narrative for the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The once small and sleepy bush towns strung along the highway will become highly desirable places to live in housing typologies not previously seen in the area. Blaxland is one of a string of such towns in the Blue Mountains preparing for it’s new relationship to Parramatta. Breakspear Architects were asked to image a town centre model with new housing and commercial typologies.

A single strip of two storey mixed-used buildings that fronts the highway with a large rear lot, on-grade parking area was suggested to Blaxland Town Centre. An active pedestrian laneway will offer a prime incentive for existing and future commercial developments to the nearby areas.


By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew. For Blue Mountains City Council