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Open House 2017

Jul 26, 2017  ·  3 min read

Open House Melbourne is like Splendour in the Grass for fans of architecture. Although you won’t find any nipple stickers, glittered faces and drunk blokes body-slamming trestle tables, just chin-stroking admiration of well-made structures.

This year will be the 10th instalment of the award-winning event and to celebrate a decade of design appreciation, organisers have delivered a program that is absolutely packed to the rafters.

Open House Weekend is a citywide takeover that involves more walking tours that you could poke a slide rule, compass or any other architectural tool at. There is also a series of talks and workshops leading up to and including the main weekend, which takes places July 29 and 30.

The tours will look at the problems, challenges and success stories of Melbourne’s built environment, like the CBD’s metro tunnel system and sites of indigenous significance in Kulin Melbourne. And of course will include a great deal of gazing, voyeuristic admiring and general house wish-listing.

The Open House Weekend has divided the city into precincts (Greater Dandenong, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Yarra, Docklands, East, Further Afield, La Trobe, North, South and West). Up from 80 last year, this year will see over 200 buildings will open their doors over said precincts, 17 of which are architecturally designed homes.

This is a hell of a lot of buildings.

A word of advice – plan your day. It’s not impossible to see all the stops, but you’d want to be on your game to do so.

We’ve scoured the lineup and shortlisted some the must-gawk buildings.


The 22-storey, 5 Star Green Star 41X is the first strata commercial office building in Melbourne to target carbon neutrality over its 30-year operating lifespan. In layman’s terms – A very modern looking tower that has a frozen video game vibe.

Kiah House

Influenced by the Buddhist retreats of Kyoto, the design of Kiah House is about making a peaceful and sustainable house within suburbia. In layman’s terms – There’s a lot going here. This mismatched abode looks like it’s made from a mix of recycled materials, but is very modern. The boxy rooms back onto a rocky garden. It somehow all works together. A nice little inner city sanctuary.

Architect: Austin Maynard Architects
Residential | R10

Architect: Lyons Architects
Precinct: City of Melbourne | C02

Old High Court of Australia

Completed in 1928, the Old High Court of Australia “reflects Murdoch’s interest in the Beaux-Arts principles of design”. In layman’s terms – Covered in vines and shrubbery, this enchanting old building would be right at home in Diagon Alley.

Architect: John Smith Murdoch
Precinct: City of Melbourne | C33

Open House Weekend 2017 runs from July 29-30.

words by niall roeder

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