Art & Design


Melbourne Opens its Doors This Weekend

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Thousands of Melburnians pass through the CBD every day, but how often do we notice the buildings we rush past to catch the next train? Melbourne Open House is an annual event that allows people the freedom to explore dozens of historic and contemporary buildings around the city and inner-city suburbs — for free.

This weekend, 75 buildings will be available to explore at our own leisure — spaces that are environmentally sustainable, rich with history and innovative in design. From universities to galleries and libraries to churches, crowds will be invited to learn more about the spaces that make Melbourne unique. Architects will speak in public forums to explain their designs and visitors are encouraged to participate in a photo competition to win prizes.

Heritage listed buildings that have defined the city for over a century will be celebrated throughout the weekend.  These include the City Baths, which was constructed 150 years ago to stop people from bathing in the Yarra River; and Dockland’s Mission to Seafarers, a community centre constructed in the late 1800s to provide support to mariners and their families.

Those interested in trade unionism will be fascinated by Victorian Trades Hall while bookworms can enjoy behind-the-scenes access to the State Library’s Elephant Lift and Pendulum Staircase. The Royal Melbourne Hospital tunnels, a subject that has fascinated the imaginations of many, will allow visitors a rare insight into how a hospital operates.

For those who prefer more contemporary spaces, Jamie Durie’s vertical garden will be on display in Southbank’s lavish Triptych apartment complex and architectural offices in the Orica Building, Hassell Studio and Rothelowman will provide a rare insight into the world of contemporary design.

After perusing the many architectural delights the city has to offer, why not kick back and relax in the Origin Rooftop Garden or grab a coffee at Federation Square? With such a diverse range of things to see throughout the weekend, it will be a break hard-earned.

Melbourne Open House is happening Saturday 30 July — Sunday 31 July. For a full list of buildings, events and opening hours visit

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