Blackheath Pre-fabricated House and Artist’s Studio

This project at Blackheath takes the work the office has done on single dwellings and applies the technology and thinking that underpinned our multiple housing re-build work in Christchurch. Using cross laminated timber construction techniques, the houses will be pre-fabricated and factory built by Xlam in Nelson New Zealand.

It will then be shipped and transported to site as assembled components where the houses are erected by a local builder. The technology allows us to control the detail and construction processes in a controlled setting using sustainable and ecologically sound materials and methods with minimum waste and disturbance of the site.

The site is within walking distance of Blackheath Station in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and has views out over the spectacular Megalong Valley. We have master planned an approach and strategy that allows multiple houses on a single residential site. By carefully manipulating the site and arrangement of the small modular structures we can have a mixture of 3-4 dwellings on a suburban site. Shared and private open space allows for increasing the density and utilization of the site, without changing or challenging the character, scale and feeling of this historic villages mix of timber and brick freestanding and attached dwellings.

We consider this solution could have widespread appeal as people increasingly need and want to share resources and respond to the increasing cost of land and housing more generally. More broadly from a social and community perspective we feel it represents an alternative to the isolated and inefficient suburban model of mainstream subdivision planning.

Stage 1 is currently under construction. Completion expected in April 2019.