Ballarat’s $100 million GovHub building has been given the green light, with the Minister for Planning Minister Richard Wynne awarding planning approval for the development, which will transform the Civic Hall site and house up to 1,000 government employees.
Located in the centre of Ballarat's CBD, GovHub will promote growth in the local economy, following the Victorian Government’s $47.8 million investment in the project.
Development Victoria in partnership with Regional Development Victoria undertook consultation with the community late last year including focus groups and the GovHub design launch event. The feedback received was positive with the community showing overwhelming support for the project.
The community's feedback was considered and adopted in the final design where possible, with the project team, which also comprises John Wardle Architects continuing to work and collaborate with the local community as the development progresses.
John Wardle Architects' design for GovHub includes an active ground floor space, incorporating the bricks and masonry theme of the Civic Hall precinct, a reconstructed lower hall space for multi-purpose use, a glass Conservatory linking the Civic Hall to the GovHub, five storeys of office space with a visual connection to the Ballarat CBD and basement car parking.
The new building respects and responds to the scale and form of the neighbouring civic buildings. The design orchestrates the internal program, by drawing collaborative activities to the façade of the building and thereby revealing the work of those serving the community to the passing public. The intention is to heighten the sense of openness between the local community and government.
The new brick and masonry connects the ground plane with the Civic Hall and entwines the stories of old and new. Brick chambers at ground level provide a tactile, engaging presence to house retail and office activities. The external metal cladding system above ground controls heat load through the outer skin with its pattern of integrated windows.
- John Wardle Architects
Gaining planning approval represents a key milestone for the regional project, which Development Victoria believes will make a positive contribution to the ongoing revitalization of Ballarat.
Site works will commence in September, with construction proper beginning by the end of the year.