One weekend. Two hundred venues. Last Saturday and Sunday (Jul 29-30) thousands of Melburnians ventured out to explore the city's hidden secrets at Open House Melbourne – a celebration of the role that design has played in the evolution of our city, and an opportunity to glimpse what it might look like in the future. While many curious explorers delved into the tunnels and chambers of centuries-old institutions like Parliament House, others took tours of contemporary buildings. All of this makes for prime Instagram material, so let's check out some of the best shots, shall we?
1. Brunswick Town Hall
Brunswick Town Hall
on Sydney Road is a French Renaissance Revival design, built in 1877. More importantly, the famous first court scene in The Castle
was filmed in the Council Chambers!
2. Fifty Albert
An apartment complex in the CBD, Fifty Albert
is a great example of what high-rise living will look like in the future.
3. Substation J
One of the most popular Open House Melbourne attractions is Substation J
– a disused electricity substation in the CBD that feels like stepping back in time.
4. Substation J
5. St Michael's Uniting Church
6. The State Library of Victoria's catacombs
Did you know that the underground catacombs of the State Library
are home to the library's original records, before they went digital?
7. St Patrick's Cathedral
This Gothic Revival-style cathedral
is one of the largest and grandest in the city, built in 1858.
8. The State Library of Victoria's La Trobe Reading Room
Even if you've spent many hours studying at the State Library's La Trobe Reading Room
, seeing it from the sixth floor is an entirely different experience.
9. Rone: 'The Omega Project'
10. Mandeville Hall
As far as Melbourne's 19th century mansions go, it doesn't get much more lavish than Mandeville Hall
11. Parliament House
There's a reason why people get their wedding photos on the steps of Parliament House
– and arguably, the detailed and restored furnishings within are even more beautiful.
12. Melbourne Central
Did you ever wonder how Melbourne Central's huge glass cone is washed by window-cleaners?
13. D-Division, Pentridge
14. Collins Street Baptist Church
This baptist church
with a neo-Greek design was built in 1862 by Joseph Reed, who also designed the Melbourne Town Hall.
15. Doll's House
This Northcote home, designed by BKK Architects
, is an example of creative architecture to suit the needs of the evolving family. It consists of two spaces stacked vertically, joined by just furniture and joinery as opposed to doors and walls.
16. Australian Islamic Centre
The colourful ceiling of the Australian Islamic Centre
is just one of the many intriguing design features of this work-in-progress, designed by Glenn Murcutt.
17. Melbourne Central
At the centre of Melbourne Central is the historic Coops Shot Tower (an ammunitions facility), which is encased in a huge glass cone, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa in the 1980s.
18. Medibank Place
The theory behind this state-of-the-art office space for Medibank
was to create the healthiest workplace possible, where employees are free to work from more than 26 different types of work settings, from standing desks to balconies.
19. Hawthorn Tram Depot
Built in 1916, the original shed of the Hawthorn Tram Depot
is now the Melbourne Tram Museum, which hosts the city's original tram fleet.
20. Hawthorn Tram Depot
21. Port of Melbourne Boat Tours
is the largest container and cargo port in Australia, welcoming over 3,000 ships each year.
22. Myer Mural Hall
Myer Mural Hall
is known to have one of the finest Art Deco interiors in Victoria, but the view out into the city streets alone is worth the visit.
23. Government House
This regal building
was built between 1872 and 1876, and cost the state £
24. Old Treasury Building
It's not often that you can delve into the preserved basement kitchen of one of Melbourne's grandest buildings, the Old Treasury Building
Missed out on Open House Melbourne this year? There are still plenty of ways to get to know the city better; start with these cheap tours and talks and get exploring.