Statement of Significance
The Terra Dome house, Bell Street, Balmoral was built in 1985 for the present owners, Jim and Lana Howman by Terra Dome Australia Pty Ltd. of Murtoa under licence from an American firm. The method of construction was a response to the oil crisis of the early 1970s and the subsequent rise in energy prices. This was only the second example to be built in Australia and the first after that at Murtoa built by Mr. David Peitsch, the licensee. Some forty other houses have since been built in Victoria. It is made up from domed, concrete modules poured in situ with special aluminium formwork and steel reinforcing. The whole is covered by earth. The other detailing, services and materials are relatively conventional. The building is in excellent condition and retains a very high degree of integrity.
How is it significant?
The Terra Dome house, Bell Street, Balmoral is of architectural significance to the township of Balmoral and to the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
The Terra Dome house, Bell Street, Balmoral is of architectural significance as a rare and relatively early example of design for harsh environmental conditions and as a response to the conservation of natural resources.
TERRA DOME HOUSE - Physical Conditions
TERRA DOME HOUSE - Physical Description 1
The Terra Dome is a single storey semi-subterranean house oriented to the north to maximise sun penetration in winter. It includes a deep overhanging parapet across the facade to create shade in summer. The facade is faced with irregular stone veneer. The large plate glass windows have anodised aluminium frames. There is a central fireplace with a field-stone chimney in the centre of the house. The house is made up from domed, concrete modules poured in situ with special aluminium formwork and steel reinforcing. The whole is covered by earth.
TERRA DOME HOUSE - Historical Australian Themes
3. Developing local, regional and national economies
3.14 Developing an Australia engineering and construction industry
3.14.1 Building to suit Australian conditions
Theme 4: Building settlements, towns and cities
4.5 Making settlements to serve rural Australia
Theme 8 Developing Australia's Cultural Life
8.10 Pursuing excellence in the arts and sciences
8.10.4 Designing and building fine buildings
8.10.5 Advancing knowledge in science and technology
8.12 Living in and around Australian homes.
TERRA DOME HOUSE - Usage/Former Usage
TERRA DOME HOUSE - Integrity
TERRA DOME HOUSE - Physical Description 2
David Pleitsch, Terra Dome Australia Pty Ltd., builder and licence holder
Heritage Study and Grading
Southern Grampians - Southern Grampians Shire Heritage Study
Author: Timothy Hubbard P/L, Annabel Neylon
BALMORAL COURT HOUSEVictorian Heritage Register H1651
WAR MEMORIALSSouthern Grampians Shire
BALMORAL COURTHOUSESouthern Grampians Shire H1651
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687