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The Ballarat Gov Hub is a workplace for over one thousand employees in this regional city and its design creates a new model for the office.

Part of Ballarat’s civic precinct, the Gov Hub is highly connected to its neighbourhood of library, civic hall and park to create a positive urban impact. As a low rise five storey office building, it places its inhabitants close to a diverse network of activity at ground level. Two lift cores provide independent address points for flexibility, and generous interconnecting stairs offer choice of route and ease of access ideally suited for a post-pandemic world.

The Gov Hub’s primary structure is mass timber, a combination of CLT (cross laminated timber) and GLT (glue laminated timber), which radically reduces its carbon footprint. Its interior is organised into neighbourhoods, each defined by primary timber columns and beams. The emphasis is on creating a productive team environment.

An outer skin of solid zinc wraps the building, sidestepping the typical glass box. The overall gabled-roof form appears similar in shape to a large rural shed, while the scattered window pattern creates a more domestic interior experience. This form also significantly reduces heat load. To the south, a glazed end is sliced open to reveal shared gathering spaces including a timber lined attic. This makes visible the work of those serving the community.

At street level, smaller brick chambers provide a tactile and engaging presence to house retail, community, and office activities. They also visually tie the precinct together, with brickwork being the dominant material of the old Civic Hall. A new glass conservatory, with its own timber structure, creates a welcoming microclimate all year round for both workers and the public.

The Ballarat Gov Hub is civic in nature, personable in scale and sustainable in outlook.

  • Traditional Custodians Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation
  • Client Development Victoria
  • Location Ballarat, Victoria
  • Project Duration 2017 – 2021
  • News A new civic heart for Ballarat
  • Selected Awards
  • Award for Commercial Architecture, AIA Victorian Chapter 2022
  • Commendation for Sustainable Architecture, AIA Victorian Chapter 2022

The overall site can be understood as a campus of buildings set around key public spaces, well suited to the scale of pedestrians. The sequence of civic spaces offer dynamic public environments for the surrounding neighbourhood. The variety of spaces accommodates seasonal changes in weather and creates comfortable microclimates (sun traps, wind protected) to occupy.

The GovHub will be a lively precinct that bridges the gap between community spaces and government activity, and will further bolster the future growth of the Armstrong Street retail precinct. An active ground plane will enhance public connectivity and retail opportunities.


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