Ararat Arts Precinct
This project for the City of Ararat is centered on the former 1898 Ararat Town Hall, by Smith and Molloy Architects from Ballarat. It is one of the grandest public buildings in regional Victoria and together with its precinct is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The building has been used by the ARAG and APAC for gallery and performing arts since 1978. The Victorian Government funded the collocation redevelopment of the building designed by architect Gunn Hayball Pty Ltd in1975.
Retention of the existing building and maximising use of the asset is the focus of this project. The majority of the project is focused on upgrading and expanding the existing Visual Arts gallery and its much-needed storage and workroom facilities. Integration of a cafe within the new facility has expanded the social interconnection with the gallery collection and the community.
The space for community arts activity use was maintained and shares the gallery and the Performing Arts Centre. Addition of a new green room, storage, technical upgrade for the theatre and a renovated front of house were included in the project as well as shared offices and support spaces in the upper level of the 70‘s addition. Rationalising the facility to two principal levels has provided universal access within the facility. Modern precinct landscaping has set the theme for the open space and the public realm.