If you’re a big fan of Open House Melbourne (OHM) like us, then you are going to love this news! OHM are heading to Ballarat this month for the program’s first ever regional extension!
The Open House journey began in London 25 years ago, facilitating opportunities for residents to directly experience how architectural design can improve their lives. As part of Open House Ballarat, more than 20 spots across the city will be open to the public. With a mix of heritage and contemporary, the buildings and landscapes will celebrate Ballarat’s historic, new and elusive locales, while providing insight into what architectural excellence looks like.
Top 5 Open House Ballarat spots you need to see!
You might not know it, but the Loreto school in Ballarat was the first in Australia. Established in 1875 by Mother Gonzaga Barry and her community of sisters, the college is built in an English Gothic style with French influence. The chapel, also built in the late 1800s to early 1900s, has an awe-inspiring interior decorated in soft pastels, a majestic Organ Gallery, and symbols of Catholic saints and evangelists.
Two Halves House
Nestled into the stunning natural Australian bush, the split-level Two Halves House takes the pitched-roof, country house form, and divides it in half. The two halves of the house are offset from one another, separated to drastically improve access to northern light. It’s a work of contemporary wonder and sustainable living worth exploring.
Former Ballarat Baptist Church
Here’s an opportunity to take a look inside one of Ballarat’s more mysterious buildings. A rare and imposing Greco-Roman temple or Classic Revival style church, this place of worshop was opened in November 1867 to replace the original weatherboard church on the same site. The building is currently undergoing a restoration, so this is a one-off chance to look inside a heritage site that is being repurposed as an ultra-modern residnece.
With one screen and capacity for 1,950 people, this theatre is large even by metropolitan standards. Opening in 1928, the Regent Theatre was co-designed by the architect who went on to design Melbourne’s theatre of the same name on Collins Street. With a beautiful symmetrical rendered front facade and a cantilevered verandah covering its timber-framed entrance, the cinema takes pride of place along Ballarat’s iconic heritage precinct.
A perfect fusion of contemporary and historic, the Webster Street House explores the issues of how to update a heritage building to meet the demands of modern life. The original historic home was extensively renovated and restored before a contemporary living space was added on for the owners’ large family.
Open House Ballarat will be held on October 28 and 29. Of the 21 buildings open on the weekend, 16 will be open access, self-guided or with guided tours, while the remainder will require pre-booking.
There will also be a series of special events featured in the program.
Click here for more details.
Images supplied for use by Open House Melbourne.