Springwood Arts Centre
Springwood, Blue Mountains
As with many small towns in the Blue Mountains region, the urban development of Springwood follows the major transport corridor of the Great Western Highway and Blue Mountains Rail line, built along the ridgeline. Strip development has occurred resulting in an ill-defined town centre, poor walkability metrics and therefore a lack of overall urban character. Unlike other towns in the upper Blue Mountains such as Leura, Springwood is not seen as a tourist attraction.
To address these issues, the project proposes an urban plan cantered on redeveloping land currently occupied by council carparks located in central Springwood. The proposal creates a strong north-south axis that intersects and challenges the current east-west development pattern. A central pedestrian avenue and public square framed by a new community arts centre will be the focus of the development. Two new public lookouts, one overlooking Fairy Dell Track on the southern approach and the second, Birdwood
Gully on the north, frame new entrances to the town. The plan also proposes a new pedestrian bridge linking new residential development in the north to the town centre. The area is currently rendered unpassable due to the barrier of the great Northern Highway.
The architectural concept driving the plan is the idea of the Proscenium – a term used in stage design to describe a metaphorical plane dividing the audience from the imaginary world of theatre. To strengthen the gesture of the north south axis, the proposed massing acts a stage props to lengthen the perceived field of depth of the pedestrian avenue. It is intended that for new visitors arriving in the centre of Springwood, the new architectural intervention will transport them into the new world.