11 November 2016
Ararat in Victoria's south-west is set to boast a revitalised arts precinct with plans for a game-changing redevelopment now in motion.
Melbourne-based, award-winning firm Williams Boag Architects have delivered concepts for the project which aims to increase Ararat's ability to attract major exhibitions and nationally-recognised performers to the region.
The plans include a revamped public entrance to the Ararat Regional Art Gallery, expansion and improvement of the art gallery and performance spaces, upgraded public amenities, a renovated Ararat Performing Arts Centre foyer and box office, a new cafe and bar, along with landscaping.
The enhanced facilities, along with expanded display and storage spaces, will secure the long-term viability of Ararat as a cultural tourism destination, capable of developing and attracting ambitious, blockbuster programs.
In an interview with Architecture AU Peter Williams, founding director of Williams Boag Architects said, "the new expansion is not only exploiting the work that had been started in the 1970s, but it also picks up on colours and [details] of the heritage fabric. What we're wanting to do is have a very clear distinction between the qualities of the new spaces and the heritage spaces in the buildings."
The Victorian Government has provided $3.7m towards the project and the local community has already raised $74,000 in support. The community has set an ambitious target of raising a total of $100,000 through a fundraising project.
Ararat's new arts precinct is expected to be completed in 2018.