What to see at Open House Melbourne

From futuristic marvels to some of the city’s most famous heritage architecture, Melbourne’s open house weekend is a behind-the-scenes reveal of some of the city’s most intriguing buildings. Here are some architectural feats not to miss. Some tours require pre-booking – head to the Open House website on Monday 17 July to reserve your place. Make sure you get in early!

The futuristic super-tower – Eq. Tower

The recently completed Eq. Tower is a teaser of Melbourne’s future urban landscape. A first in the next generation of super-tall buildings, EQ Tower stands at 203 metres and 65 levels tall. Join a guided tour that will discuss the future of vertical living. The tour will include a visit to the 62th level for panoramic views.

Melbourne design marvel – New Academic Street at RMIT

The heart of RMIT University has been transformed with the recent New Academic Street redevelopment. Explore the latest rooftop spaces, glass-roofed arcades and outdoor terraces to promote mindfulness and encourage mental stimulation.

Glass ceiling with shadows and architecture

New Academic Street at RMIT

Workplace of the future – KPMG

Peek into the future of workplace spaces. KPMG’s top nine floors have been specifically designed to promote and stimulate creative thinking. Lounge-like designs, circular spiralling staircases and a wraparound outdoor terrace are some of the spaces to eye. Pre-booking is required for tours.

State of the art Green building – CH2

Council House 2 CH2 is the first office building in Australia to achieve the 6 Star Green Star rating (it’s scored out of six). A work home for the City of Melbourne, the building incorporates every conceivable green technology across 10 storeys without compromising on design. Join a tour which will finish on the stunning rooftop terrace with spectacular views. Guided tours will be organised by the queue and demand.

Gothic Revival – Newman College at University of Melbourne

The heritage-listed Newman College will be open for guided tours. A Gothic Revival-style building complete with a top lit dining hall and long low cloisters, pre-booking is required for tours.

Night time photograph of old building

University of Melbourne, Newman College

The wow factor – Medibank Place

This Docklands-based office is determined to work around the needs of individual workers. More than 26 types of work settings include quiet indoor spaces, wi-fi-enabled balconies, standing spots and collaborative hubs. Guided tours will be organised by the queue and demand.

Hidden gem – Old Treasury Building

The Old Treasury Building is more than a trip down memory lane.  One of Melbourne’s finest gold rush buildings, it’s home to the original vaults where gold bullion was stored. These make fascinating exploration, as does the caretaker living quarters from the 1920s.

The creative hub – Meat Market

Built in 1880, the Meat Market is a grade one heritage-listed building with enormous character and history. Operating in wholesale meat trading until 1974, the building then became a craft centre, and since 2005 has been a dedicated arts event space. See this magnificent venue your own pace or join a tour with a local historian.

A photo of a big hall in an old building

Meat Market

The civic heart – Melbourne Town Hall

Completed in 1870, the Melbourne Town Hall has played an important role shaping Melbourne’s past and future. See the wood panelled council chambers, wave at strangers from the portico balcony and see the piano once played by Paul McCartney. Tours run both days and bookings are essential.

The waterfront landmark – Library at the Dock

The stunning Library at The Dock is a multiple award-winning and sustainable community building situated on the Victoria Harbour waterfront in Docklands and showcases Docklands’ rich maritime heritage. It’s constructed primarily from cross-laminated timber and recycled hardwood and has full height glazing on the ground level to capture natural light and 260 degree views of the harbour. Not only that, but as well as a traditional library collection, the building      ffers  an interactive  learning environment, impressive digital collection, and multi-purpose community spaces – including a recording studio, editing suite and performance space and a performance venue that holds 120 people. Grab a coffee from Wild Timor Coffee downstairs and let the day melt away in this stunning space.

The Grand Hotel – Hotel Windsor

One of the first heritage hotels in the world and the only surviving hotel of its type in Australia, explore the secrets of The Hotel Windsor. The grand staircase, fire floor staircase landing and grand ballroom will be open to the public. Pre-booking is required for tours.

Spiral staircase as seen from the top

Grand staircase at The Hotel Windsor

More things to do at Open House

Shaping Flinders Lane is a guided walking tour through some of the greatest design ambitions on the famous lane. Run by Technē Architecture + Interior Design directors, the tour will include a cocktail at Tonka and end with a drink and canapes at Garden State Hotel.

A new film playing at ACMI, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, tells the story of Jane Jacobs. A champion of community-based approaches to city building, Open House Melbourne will present a city-wide program questioning the future of Melbourne’s urbanism, inspired by Jacobs.