Benga House, Heritage Hill

Architect: Frederick W Ballantyne of J F W Ballantyne and Roy Wilson

City of Greater Dandenong | GD03



Designed by renowned architect Frederick Ballantyne of JFW Ballantyne and Roy Wilson, Benga House expresses the aspirations and developments in domestic housing during the Inter-war period. At the time, it was to be the largest and most expensive house constructed in the Shire of Dandenong, built for the local Doctor, Ian Hart and his wife, Dorothy Hart. At the stage of design, Dorothy Hart was dissatisfied with the original plans which reflected Ballantyne’s more restrained Modernism style. She had them changed to reflect the Tudor Revival style which refers to numerous English architectural traditions. The house, as redesigned and built, was estimated at a cost of £1,850. The house was extended in 1952 and Ballantyne was engaged to design the extension to ensure its 1930s character was maintained. A major feature of the Benga property is the exceptional Edna Walling-inspired garden design, which features compartmentalised areas, a formal rose garden, perennial garden beds, designed paths, a pergola, and a sundial. The substantial brick home and garden, which featured the provision of quarters for live-in domestic help, both reflected and reinforced the social status of the doctor and his wife in the local community.

Need to Know

  • Open: Sat & Sun 10am - 4pm

  • Heritage Listed: Yes

  • What's Open: All sections and gardens

  • Special Note: Limited mobility access

  • Tour Type: Guided & self-guided

  • Tour Details: Some guided tours throughout the day, 20 people per tour for approximetly 40 minutes.

  • Special Programming: Heritage exhibitions on display: Benga at War, A Night at the Opera, Asylum Silk Roads.

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Facilities: Pram access, Toilets

  • Year Built: 1936

  • Tram Stops: Bus stop: McCrae St/Foster St on route 828, 844, 892, 893.

Location

66 McCrae Street, Dandenong 3175, VIC

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