26.07.2019

Here’s where you can wander this Open House weekend

RMIT Capitol Theatre
RMIT Capitol Theatre. Photo: Tatjana Plitt
Photo: Michael Woods
Photo: John Gollings
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Words by Kate Streader

Morgues, museums and more.

From the historic to the modern, the streets of Melbourne are lined with architectural delights. Once a year, some of the city’s most enchanting structures and intriguing spaces open their doors to the public as part of Open House Melbourne, so you can peek behind the facade of the streetscapes, quench your curiosity and learn about some of its most important structures.

The concept behind Open House was founded in London in 1992 by Victoria Thornton in a bid to engage the community in the architecture of their cities and towns. Now in its 11th year, Open House Melbourne has hosted over 900,000 visits across 934 sites, contributing over $20 million to the local economy in the process. In addition to tours, Open House Melbourne also hosts a range of talks and interviews exploring the issues and successes of Melbourne’s built environment.

This year, you’ll have access to 200 significant spaces across Melbourne alongside 45 tours, talks and special events. From guided sensory tours around the city to talks discussing 20th-century architecture, iconic hospitality venues, future living systems and the evolution of apartment living, Open House Melbourne is bound to change your perspective on the concrete jungle.

For those interested in the arts, there will be an opportunity to access Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection, usually closed to the public. If you make your way to the collection, you’ll receive a behind the scenes look at archival objects including costumes, scripts and handwritten lyrics from the likes of AC/DC, Nick Cave and The Australian Ballet.

If science is more your thing, head over to the Bio21 Institute where you’ll find some of the most cutting-edge technology in biotechnology and molecular sciences. You might bump into scientists working in the fields of magnetic resonance, advanced microscopy and protein characterisation on your visit.

Other spaces worth visiting include the Ann Street Morgue, Australian Islamic Centre, Koorie Heritage Trust, Triple R Studios, Luna Park, Cox Architecture Studio, the City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection, and the ABC’s Southbank centre.

While most of the tours are free, some will require bookings due to popularity and limited capacity.

Open House Melbourne is happening on Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28 at various locations across Melbourne. For bookings, more information and a full list of the participating buildings, head to the Open House Melbourne website