From futuristic marvels to renowned heritage architecture, Open House Melbourne (27-28 July) offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the city’s most fascinating buildings.
Bookings are recommended for some building tours and events, so head to the Open House website for full details.
See The Capitol restored to its former glory after five years of refurbishments by RMIT and Six Degrees Architects. The 1924 Chicago Gothic-style theatre now offers experiences across cinema, mixed media, VR, AR, gaming and more.
Guided tours will be departing on the hour between 10am and 3pm, or you can take a self-guided tour through the foyer, salon, lounge and stunning theatre space.
Parliament House garden design tour
Explore the original 19th century garden design and the recently added Australian native landscape garden on a free guided tour. View the members annexe, and learn about its sustainable design features including a geothermal exchange system. Bookings are essential.
Performing Arts Collection Store Tour
Take a journey through Australia’s performing arts history with a special guided tour at Art Centre Melbourne. Featuring over 600,000 items including costumes, designs, photographs and other archival pieces, you’ll see relics and iconic objects spanning circus, dance, music, opera and theatre. Bookings are essential.
Rod Laver Arena
Over the past 30 years, Rod Laver Arena has hosted thousands of events including performances by P!NK, Beyonce and Australian Open tennis stars Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create these unforgettable events, and be among the first to see the final phase of the venue’s redevelopment project ahead of its official opening at the end of the year. Bookings are essential.
Old Treasury Building
The Old Treasury Building is a historic landmark and a symbol of the city’s rapid development during the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s. One of Melbourne’s finest gold rush buildings, it’s home to the original vaults where gold bullion was stored. Explore the vaults and view a series of dramatic panoramic images that showcase the city’s growth between 1841 and 1900.
What’s old is new again at this unprecedented 319-metre high residential tower built atop a heritage facade from 1899. Once completed, Australia 108 will become the ‘tallest building to roof’ in the Southern Hemisphere. Take an architect-led tour of the facilities including dining and functions spaces, pools, spas and the plant-rooms on levels 42 and 43.
Limelight Attic Studio
Hidden away in the attic of a building on Spring Street, the Limelight Attic Studio dates back to the 19th century where it was used as a photographic and film studio. By the time it closed in 1909, over 400 films had been produced there. The studio has been reclaimed after 100 years of neglect, and today operates as a museum space displaying original photographs, slides and equipment.
New Academic Street at RMIT
The heart of RMIT University has been transformed with the recent New Academic Street redevelopment. Explore the new rooftop garden spaces, glass-roofed arcades and outdoor terraces created to promote mindfulness and mental stimulation. Tours will be led by staff from Lyons, the principal architecture firm that worked on the project.
Eureka Tower and the evolution of apartment living
If you want to see how residential living in Melbourne has changed over the years, join this guided walking tour that weaves through the Melbourne Terrace, Republic Tower, Little Hero, and Phoenix buildings. The tour will conclude with views of Melbourne from the city’s tallest residential towers, Eureka Tower and Australia 108.
Newman College at University of Melbourne
Book in for a guided tour of the Gothic Revival style building, Newman College. Explore the chapel, oratory, and grounds complete with a top-lit dining hall and long low cloisters.
More sights to see on the Open House Weekend
- City Collection will be open for tours, showcasing 6,000 artefacts from Melbourne’s history. See everything from Moomba relics to miniatures of Melbourne’s most famous public art.
- Once the centre of Melbourne’s meat trade, Meat Market is now a hub for artists and event throwers alike. Marvel at the 19th century architecture at this North Melbourne spot on Saturday 27 July.
- Explore ArtPlay by the Yarra River and take a tour through this 130-year old building. Bring the kids along for Ping Pong WoW, an interactive play art experience.
- Cross the bridge to tour through SIGNAL, the last remaining signal box of Flinders Street Station. The 126-year old heritage listed building will be hosting self-guided tours and a craft making workshop.
Looking for more inspiration? Read on for our guide to historic buildings in Melbourne.