Melbourne: Unlock over 200 architectural icons this weekend

Open House Melbourne is back and bigger than ever before.

Open House Melbourne – the weekend-long architecture festival that celebrates the Victorian capital’s greatest old and new buildings – is celebrating its 10th year.

Hosted on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th July, the festival throws open the doors of some 200 buildings in Melbourne, unlocking private and otherwise off bounds architectural sites.

84 new buildings have been added to the program this year and Open House’s footprint has been extended further into suburbs like Beaumaris, Bangholme, Brighton, Dandenong, Essendon, La Trobe, Mill Park, and Ringwood.

Melbourne Central

“Highlight’s include our partnership with the Emerging Architects + Graduates Network (EmAGN) to deliver over 17 residential properties, the majority by emerging architects,” explains festival program manager Victoria Bennett.

“You can visit some of Melbourne’s most beautiful Victorian era Mansions, including Rupertswood Mansion, Lowther Hall Mansion and Mandeville Hall, not normally open to the public.”

Lowther Hall Mansion

Also on the program is the free Metro Tunnel Walking Tour, where you can join the Metro Tunnel Project team on a walking tour along Swanston Street between the sites of the two new underground train stations in the Melbourne CBD. You'll get an idea of how the mega urban project is being constructed in a busy city while trams and pedestrians continue to flow along Swanston Street.

The festival is a great way for locals to get to know the architectural landscape of their home city – and for visitors to take in a lot of more of the city’s colourful history.

Rupertswood Mansion

“Melbourne has no shortage of spectacular architecture, from gold rush boom to some of the best examples of contemporary Australian architecture,” Victoria continues. “The Australian Islamic Centre, by Glenn Murcutt, one of the world’s most renowned architects, in collaboration with Hakan Elevli of Elevli+ Architects is breath-taking.”

Victoria’s other favourites include more humble sites like “Graeme Gunn’s Plumbers and Gasfitters Employees Union building or Orica House by Bates Smart.”

The Open House Melbourne initiative is a part of the broader Open House Worldwide Network, which now includes 30 cities over five continents.

Check out the full list of buildings you can visit here

Visiting Melbourne? Refuel and stay warm with our guides to the city's most outstanding breakfasts, or its best noodle soups, or best dumplings

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