Open House Melbourne

July 17, 2019

Every year around the end of July or early August, some of the most prominent modern, innovative and historical architectural sites in Melbourne open themselves up to the public for tours and viewings. In 2019 the Open House weekend falls on 27-28 July and includes 200 buildings, precincts and private homes and 45 events.

The iconic Shot Tower inside Melbourne Central. Source: We Know Melbourne.

All tours are either free or require a small $5 fee, and allow you to go behind the scenes of some incredible places and learn about contemporary and sustainable approaches to city building. On top of that, you can hear about the history behind some of Melbourne’s iconic infrastructure.

The Sun Theatre in Yarraville has cult status as an independent art deco cinema experience. Source: Mia Goreng.

The Sensory Talk at the Immigration Museum takes a fresh look at multi-sensory city design, while the Sun Theatre in Yarraville introduces you to the art deco cinemas that have become an integral part of Melbourne’s independent cinema scene. Or, if you’d like to visit one of Australia’s heritage-listed precincts, a tour of Willsmere, a former hospital asylum and current residence, is one of the most expansive, taking up over 25 acres of land.

Among some of the talks that you can go to this year are architect Phillip Schemnitz’s run-through of his contribution to Melbourne’s urban terrain. There is also Design City: Built Melbourne!, which is an annual talk about Melbourne’s unique and evolving cityscape.

Willsmere is a heritage-listed site that has a fascinating history. Source:


As an affordable and culturally significant look into Melbourne’s architectural past and future, Open House Melbourne is an event not to be missed!