Blue Mountains Visitor Centre
Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Visitor Centre. Competition Winning Entry. 2002-04
eucalypt - from Greek eu ‘well’ + kaluptos ‘covered’
A Visitor Centre and working offices for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to be located on Bell's Line of Road, near Bilpin in the Blue Mountains. The Visitor Centre to celebrate the designation of the Greater Blue Mountains as a World Heritage Area, principally in recognition of the unique and diverse Eucalypt communities. The brief acknowledged the particular need for respect of the indigenous inhabitants of the area, and stipulated a high level of autonomy, energy and water self-sufficiency and design to resist serious bushfire risks.
“This is where the car park will be, there will be one huge silver eucalyptus leaf at the side of the road to draw people in, they will get out of their cars and there will be another huge silver eucalyptus leaf lying on the ground which they will be drawn to – about here – now if you can follow me through the trees, we will walk directly along this axis towards the sun – the new centre will reveal itself as the cluster of huge eucalyptus leaves against the view, you won’t see the building itself and the flat roof will be landscaped to replicate the natural ground around – now they will descend here, between two ponds of water, under the canopy of huge leaves into the ‘meeting place’ with the fireplace, and the smell of eucalypt smoke in the air and – “pow” – there will be the view out over Wollemi wilderness. Now keep following me towards the sun – they will walk out onto the viewing jetty – out here – and that will run out on top of this rock outcrop – exactly HERE - with a glimpse back into that little cave below there, and then the stupendous view over the tree tops”
The project was abandoned after a two-stage competition and two years of work. The NSW State Government withdrew funding for the project in early 2005.