The Blue Mountains World Heritage area sits nearby the growing city centres of Sydney’s west. From this city expansion comes an increase in the desire to live in or visit the Blue Mountains towns, such as Blaxland. The Blue Mountains City Council engaged Breakspear Architects to envisage new housing and commercial typologies within Blaxland’s existing built fabric. The aim was to explore how urban vitality and density could be increased in Blaxland whilst respecting the existing community priorities and world heritage surrounds. Underground parking, train connectivity, pedestrianised streets, shop-top housing and landscaping were considered as evolutions to Blaxland’s existing street pattern and two-storey building heights. It is hoped the Blaxland study can inform how the Blue Mountains towns can develop in a fine-grain manner that maintains their existing qualities and sense of the wilderness beyond. 

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