Gyprock Fyrchek brings safety and serenity to Provincial Ballarat

Victoria-based Internal Lining Specialist Skinners Plaster supplied award-winning developer Darren Fraser with Gyprock Fyrchek™ to reinvigorate the internal space of the recently renovated Provincial Ballarat hotel.

The Challenge

Located on Ballarat's historic Lydiard Street, the Provincial Ballarat was originally built in 1909 and is a heritage-listed building of great architectural significance. Vacant since 2007, the iconic 107-year-old Edwardian art nouveau building had become an eyesore for the city due to its rundown state and desperately required some much needed love and attention.

Due to the derelict state of the building, owners and developers Darren and Janet Fraser had to completely rebuild and redesign the entire interior space of this once impressive and thriving town icon. "We wanted to create a luxurious and open space with high ceilings and smooth lines while still maintaining some of the building's original design features," comments Darren Fraser. "Most of the internal walls were double brick and needed to be completely replastered to adhere to fire safety regulations and insulate the rooms from the noise of the busy road outside."

The Result

Throughout the refurbishment the couple was keen to preserve the original elements of the build, such as ornamental cornices and ceiling roses, to help retain the building's former French provincial charm. As a result, each of the rooms was individually restored to the highest quality, bringing a real sense of luxury and grandeur to this significant heritage structure.

"We were initially drawn to the building due to its uniqueness and impressive Edwardian art nouveau glory. It really stands out as soon as you arrive at the railway station," comments Darren Fraser, who had previously converted the former RSL building in Ballarat into boutique apartments. "We immediately knew that we needed to bring this beautiful structure back to life to help protect the strong social history that means so much to the local community."

Together with Fraser's own plastering contracting business Leading Edge and premium Gyprock distributor Skinners Plaster, each of the walls over the three levels of the building were replastered with a double layer of 16mm Gyprock Fyrchek plasterboard - an acoustic grade plasterboard with superior fire rating properties and a specially processed glass fibre-reinforced gypsum core for use in fire rated wall and ceiling systems.

In addition furring channel, a hat-shaped corrosion-resistant framing component, was used to pack out the walls and ceilings, levelling the substrate, for an extra smooth finish.

"We chose Fyrchek as it meant we could meet the fire safety and noise requirements without having to sacrifice the loft-like atmosphere we were trying to create," adds Fraser.

"Our alternative would have been regular plasterboard with a sprinkler system, however, these often require much lower ceiling heights and would have distracted from the luxurious look and serene feel we were aiming for. In fact, most people are really surprised at the vast and peaceful space they encounter once they enter the hotel."

"The team at Skinners were incredibly helpful and provided us with expert advice throughout the entire installation. We're really pleased with the result and are proud of having been able to contribute to the re-development of this magnificent town," Fraser adds.

Thanks to the passion and ingenuity of Ballarat locals Darren and Janet Fraser, the Provincial was fully restored and extensively renovated earlier this year and now offers 17 beautifully appointed boutique hotel rooms, a modern 100 seat café/restaurant, a 300 capacity cocktail bar, a 100 seat conference room and a private gym with ample parking.