Ballan's unique 'dome house' demolished to make way for new development

Before its demolition in, the dome-shaped Roundhouse was well known by train commuters. (Supplied: Tony Clarke)

For some, it was an eyesore, for others a tourist attraction. Now a unique dome house 80 kilometres west of Melbourne has been demolished to make way for a new development. 

The demolition of the building on Denholms Road in Ballan began this week.

The building's demise has been met with a mixed response from locals, with some welcoming the removal of an "eyesore" and others lamenting the loss of an iconic building.

Clearly visible from Ballan Railway Station, the home was known by many different names including the bubble house, the beehive, the igloo and the spaceship.

The original owner-builder Tony Clarke told ABC Radio Melbourne it was "quite emotional" to hear the house was no more.

The Ballan dome-shaped house before and during demolition. (Supplied: Ross Matheson)

He sold the 3-hectare property a few years ago after inheriting debt from his late brother.

"When they bought it they said, 'Oh yes, we'll be keeping the dome house, it'll be part of the aged care facility that we eventually build,'" Mr Clarke said.

Demolition underway at the Roundhouse in Ballan. (Facebook: Ross Matheson)

Off-grid dome home

Mr Clarke became interested in building a dome house after his brother built a similar structure in Beech Forest in the 1970s.

The migration agent attended a few building courses in the United States and "eventually put everything together to build it as an owner-builder".

Tony Clarke built the distinctive home and said hearing of it's demolition made him quite "emotional". (Supplied: Tony Clarke)

"It's always warm in winter and cool in summer, it's got all these attributes to it that make it a really good place to have built."

The three-storey monolithic dome was completely off-grid and built using hemp, concrete, steel and foam.

The ABC has contacted Moorabool City Council and the organisation that bought the property from Mr Clarke to find out more about the new development plans but are yet to hear back.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.