134 Whatley Crescent, Maylands
The City of Bayswater has a strong focus on protecting its heritage sites and is proud to be the home of West Australian Ballet headquarters which is located in a former WA Institute for the Blind Building. The iconic building was transformed from a neglected, run down shell into what is now a world-class rehearsal and training facility that is home to an elite ballet training school. The place was recognised in 2013 for Excellence In Adaptive Reuse and won the Gerry Gauntlett Award at the 2013 Western Australian Heritage Awards.
The history of the place dates back to 1898 when the Governor of Western Australia, Sir Gerard Smith, laid the foundation stone for the Victoria Institute and Industrial School for the Blind. The institute originally consisted of a complex of buildings including a factory, workshops and residential facilities. In 1932, the building was renamed The West Australian Institute and Industrial School for the Blind, and in 1937 the Lotteries Commission and the government funded the development of the "L-shaped" building, and combined the three previous buildings together.
The 1937 building is a fine example of the Inter-War Stripped Classical Style, and is one the few examples of a prominent Western Australian institution that features strong art deco detailing. Today, the building has built in pilates and treatment rooms, café and a studio space twice the size of Her Majesty's Theatre. The local community are also benefiting and are encouraged to utilise the three equipped ballet studios available for hire to dance groups on evenings and weekends.
Click the following link to take a virtual tour of the WA Ballet Centre: http://waballet.com.au/ballet-centre/virtual-tour/