Take a peek into Open House Bendigo’s program highlights

Open House Melbourne, in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo, has released three program highlights ahead of the inaugural Open House Bendigo Weekend.

On Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October, a series of private homes, commercial and civic buildings and buildings of architectural significance open their doors for viewing, allowing locals and visitors alike to see inside iconic buildings and spaces that are not normally open to the public. The full program of over 20 buildings plus special events will go live in the next month.

“Open House is a worldwide phenomenon with common values, but each city operates at a local level – a feature that is critical to its success in a particular city,” said Open House Executive Director Emma Telfer.

“The inaugural Open House Bendigo will not only showcase the extraordinary heritage buildings from the gold rush period and beyond, but the program will also illustrate the future of the city through major new developments and progressive architectural interventions. Compared to the mammoth Melbourne program, visitors can expect a more leisurely-paced Weekend and some wonderful Bendigo hospitality.”

The new Bendigo Hospital is the largest regional hospital development in Victoria. Designed by Bates Smart architects, the $630 million project delivers world-class healthcare facilities and aims to provide a welcoming, holistic and positive environment that promotes wellbeing. The hospital offers a tranquil and caring environment for staff, patients and visitors through the integration of architecture, landscaping, health planning and evidence-based design. In addition to the hospital itself, the project incorporates retail facilities, a childcare centre and a hotel. Visitors will get the chance to take part in architect-led tours on the Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors will also get the chance to take a behind-the- scenes tour of Bendigo’s iconic Beehive Building while under construction. Works to rejuvenate the building began in June 2018, with the project scheduled for completion in April 2019. The heritage listed building designed by Charles Webb (think Royal Arcade in Melbourne) was erected in 1864 and was once a bustling mining exchange. Works completed in the twentieth century obscured original Victorian period detailing. The current works aim to rejuvenate the historic building, stripping out much of the internal additions. Visitors will tour through the ground floor and view the Victorian ceiling details once hidden by the first floor.

For those with a keen interest in the residential program, B House by e+ architecture will open for pre-booked tours over the Weekend. This bespoke two-level, three-bedroom townhouse within a historical neighbourhood in Bendigo occupies a long, narrow site – complete with lap pool. The contemporary design-led home was completed in 2017, boasting plenty of natural light with a versatile living space.

Those planning on attending Open House Bendigo are encouraged to consider making a weekend of it, with the Bendigo Tourism website offering competitive accommodation rates across the City. The Bendigo Sustainability Group’s Sustainable House Day is also on the Sunday 27th October, making the Weekend a not-to-be-missed celebration of significant architecture, good design and best practice sustainability in Bendigo.