In August 2014 the Ballarat City Council unanimously voted to start an ambitious concept design process, aiming to directly involve the local community in architectural design, decision-making and activation of the Civic Hall Site.

Council decided to begin a ‘participation process’. Over 12 months, members of the community are invited to participate in design workshops, events and studios, many of which are being held on the Civic Hall Site. The process will both gather ideas and synthesise them.

Here Studio, local Ballarat-based architects are coordinating the Participatory Community Design Process and leading the Core Team.

Project Aim

The Participatory Community Design Process is an opportunity to bring together key stakeholders to co-design Civic Hall Site. Principally, the Participatory Community Design Process will rebuild trust, legitimacy and encourage vital partnerships to be developed. It brings community members, businesses and Council together in working to unlock the Civic Hall Site as a significant place in the heart of Ballarat.

Core Team

The Core Team meets weekly to plan and implement collaborative events, forums as well as undertake design, synthesis and testing in the Open Door Studio. The majority of the day-to-day work in the Process is undertaken by the Core Team through a variety of roles and disciplines. The Core Team is supported by a Project Resource Group of Council Officers from various departments and other consultants. The Core Team meets face-to-face with the community regularly.

Partnership Group

The Partnership Group is currently meeting fortnightly. The purpose of this Partnership
Group is to provide skills and expertise, guidance and support to the Core Team. The Partnership Group is not making decisions, but acts as a reference group - open and agile and to develop throughout the Process. The initial membership comprises of three Councillors, Committee for Ballarat and Save Civic Hall.

Community Groups

The Save the Civic Hall community group is a sub committee of the Ballarat Residents and Ratepayers Association and is working closely with the partnership group. For further details visit their website.

November 2015

Have Your Say, Get Involved at the Open Door Studio or at