From Carlton to Docklands, Open House Melbourne weekend city highlights

The Open House Melbourne Weekend is just four days away. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning your itinerary. This Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July, the public are invited to explore Melbourne’s most significant examples of architecture from every era, with a special focus in 2019 on open access and inclusion.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the weekend would give Melburnians and visitors alike a fantastic opportunity to go behind closed doors and discover some of the city’s hidden secrets and architecture gems.

This weekend 90 buildings in the City of Melbourne alone will open their doors, providing people with a fascinating insight into both well-known buildings and those few of us have had the chance to discover,” the Lord Mayor said.

It’s particularly exciting that people will be able to access the City of Melbourne’s Art and Heritage Collection and discover treasures such as council regalia, historic photos, artworks and city gifts. This year’s emphasis on access and inclusion is fitting given Melbourne is a proudly diverse and welcoming city. Buildings and spaces have been selected that suggest solutions to city challenges, with a focus on design excellence, innovation and sustainability,” the Lord Mayor said.

In the City of Melbourne alone, 90 buildings will open with ten new buildings for people to explore for the first time. The Open House Weekend Hub will be located inside the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall, staffed by Open House Melbourne’s fantastic volunteers – keep an eye out for their hot pink vests.

From Carlton, make your way through the CBD into Docklands with these suggested highlights:

Rapid Interim Housing
When: Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July 2019, 10am – 4pm
Where: Melbourne Museum
Experience life in an accessible, portable home that has been designed with a special focus for recently disabled young people.

The prototype gives people with newly-acquired disabilities affordable, relocatable, prefabricated and wheelchair accessible accommodation so that they can get back to life in the community as soon as possible. A lack of accessible housing currently leaves many people stuck in hospital, rehab or being admitted into aged care.

Housing likes this supports people’s ability to live independently and maintain their community connections while they wait for modifications to be done on their existing home, or suitable alternative housing to become available. The Rapid Interim Housing prototype will be exhibited in the forecourt of Melbourne Museum throughout the weekend, with tours running every 15 minutes from 10am to 4pm.

City of Melbourne Art & Heritage Collection
When: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–3.30pm
Where: 602 Little Bourke Street
The City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection is an intriguing store on the fringe of the city grid. Its treasures include council regalia, historic photos, public-art maquettes, city gifts, contemporary art, Moomba and 1956 Olympic memorabilia, and surprising oddities.

From a wooden banana gifted by the Mayor of Coffs Harbour, to a pair of street ‘man-hole’ covers which once accessed the hydraulic system that powered the city’s elevators, to the gowns and crowns worn by Moomba Kings and queens. Tour will depart every 20 minutes, running 30 minutes in groups of 15.

Urban Tactility Guided Tours
When: Saturday 27 July + Sunday 28 July 2019, 10am–4pm
Where: Immigration Museum

Guided experiences of the Urban Tactility installation will be offered over the Weekend, with tour leaders guiding people through blindfolded so that they use other senses to navigate the installation.

The tours will ask visitors to contemplate the ways we navigate the city by exploring the sensory qualities of the installation and the tactile nature of the Immigration Museum Courtyard. Through these tours you will discover the built form in a whole new light, experiencing its spaces from the perspective of a person with low vision or blindness.

When: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–4pm
Where: Birrarung Mar
Inspired by the concept of The Ark, a children’s cultural centre in Dublin, ArtPlay was conceived as a place where children and their families could engage in artistic and cultural experiences with the program launching in 2004. Discover the history of the building and join the childrens’ activity Ping Pong WoW.

ABC Southbank Centre
When: Saturday 27 July 10am–3.45pm
Where: 120 Southbank Blvd
Explore the home of our fast-paced news culture in Melbourne. Come and explore behind the scenes of the ABC building in the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct, where all the exciting production takes place. You can see live radio in action, visit the studios, and TV sets, possibly meet some familiar faces or put a face to the voice you hear on ABC Radio. There’ll be displays and attractions for all ages, including a VR experience for kids.

Port of Melbourne Boat Tours
When: Sunday 28 July 10am–3pm
Where: Magic Charters
Port Open Day tours are fun, family-friendly events and the best way to see Australia’s busiest port – right on the city’s doorstep. Featuring a guided commentary from staff, you’ll see Australia’s busiest port from a whole new angle. Melbourne’s port is Australia’s largest container and general cargo port and a vital trade gateway – whether sending Australian grain to Guangzhou or bringing us coffee from Colombia. Tours run every hour on the hour, for 40 minutes.

Arup Melbourne Workplace, Melbourne Quarter When: Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July 2019, 10am – 4pm
Where: 699 Collins Street
The Arup workplace design supports their employee’s active and innovative work culture through the creation of multiple zones. While ostensibly spread over three floors, the workspace has expansive voids with mezzanines to create a cascading, terraced environment.

This single volume, highly-connected space fosters different programs including open, ‘hackable’ design studios; dedicated project and client collaboration spaces and a social enterprise run café, Streat. There are sound and light labs, a maker’s space and an experiential lab for learning, researching and testing.

Future Living Systems
When: Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July 2019, 10am – 4pm
Where: Buluk Park

Representing the capstone of a three-year research collaboration between industry and universities, these two 1:1 scale prototype’s push the boundaries of building and housing design by offering a technical demonstration construction that could function as an apartment, an office, a student residence and much more.

Library & Community Hub at The Dock
When: Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July 10am-4.30pm
Where: 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands.
The Dock community precinct incorporates the library at The Dock, Buluk Park, and the Community Hub at the Dock. The Library is the first building in Australia to be built using cross-laminated timber, it was also the first Australian public building to be awarded a six star Green Star rating.

Library at The Dock offers an eclectic mix to suit the needs of the local community, workers and visitors to Docklands. In addition to library collection, there is a café, meeting areas, a recording studio, a makerspace, community spaces and a large performance venue. A gallery space celebrates community achievements and Docklands’ rich heritage.

Open House Melbourne is an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in design in the built environment. We exist because we believe a more engaged public will result in better design outcomes for our buildings, our streets and our cities. We are registered as a charity (as Melbourne Open House Inc) with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission ABN 68295482310, we are part of the Open House Worldwide network, and we are an initiative of the Committee for Melbourne Future Focus Leadership Program.