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The 24 best Instagram shots of Open House Melbourne

Written by
Rose Johnstone

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

The secret vault under the Hall 🌚 #openhousemelb

A post shared by YEW (@anniegetyourgunson) on

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

#OpenHouseMelbourne 50 Albert.

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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

Come out and play #ownbackyard #historic #openhousemelb #touristmode #10years

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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

Felt like time traveling ⏳#openhousemelb #australia #melbourne #electricity #oldbuildings

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5. St Michael's Uniting Church

Went upstair and the view is amazing #photo #openhousemelbourne #StMichael #Melbourne

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St Michael's Uniting Church – built in 1867 – is located on the site of the first church in Melbourne.

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

#openhousemelb #openhousemelbourne #architecture #melbourne #church #cathedral

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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

#openhousemelb #openhousemelbourne #architecture #melbourne

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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'

This nostalgic installation in an abandoned home, created by Melbourne street artist Rone, wasn't strictly part of OHM, but it still proved one of the weekend's biggest attractions. Peek further into this beautiful, decaying installation with our walk-through of the house.

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

#openhouse #openhousemelbourne #glasscone #melbournecentral

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Did you ever wonder how Melbourne Central's huge glass cone is washed by window-cleaners?

13. D-Division, Pentridge

This is the ceiling that Mark 'Chopper' Read would have gazed into at Pentridge Prison's D-Division, which closed in 1997.

14. Collins Street Baptist Church

15. Doll's House

Tour of @simonknott's #bkkdollshouse today as part of #openhousemelb

A post shared by Phuong Le (@phuong_lead) on

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

Australian Islamic Centre! Stop#2 done #openhousemelb

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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

#melbourne🇦🇺 #shotfactorytower #openhousemelb

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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

Subtle. Understated. 🚃👌 #openhousemelb

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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

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

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.

Continue the search for photogenic spots in Melbourne with our guide to the city's best street art.

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