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Love letter to Melbourne: Discover this year’s Open House progra...

Love letter to Melbourne: Discover this year’s Open House program

Love letter to Melbourne: Discover this year’s Open House program

The Theatre inside The Capitol, photography by John Gollings.

Open House Melbourne has launched its 2022 program and it’s the post-COVID return to normal that we’ve all been craving… plus more.

Launched within the shiny new suites of Melbourne Connect’s LAB-14 co-working space, Open House Melbourne (OHM) announced this year’s program theme as Built/Unbuilt, running 30 and 31 July.

Moving beyond the limits of the built environment, the theme expands our concept of place, city, and sites of significance with building tours, talks, and destinations activated by art.

At the program launch we heard from Fleur Watson, OHM’s executive director and curator, Peter Maddison, architect and long-time OHM ambassador, and Tara McDowell, director of curatorial practice at Monash University. They shared their highlights for the upcoming program. Here are a few we’ve hand-picked and why we think they’ll be so good!

Be sure to book early as, in the words of the OHM team: it’s first in best dressed.

1. This Public: Built/Unbuilt – the Weekend Opening Speaker Series

Friday 29 July at The Capitol, RMIT University

Why are we excited?

Well firstly, the speaker line-up looks juicy! There’s architects Kerstin Thompson and Amy Muir; urban designer and landscape architect, Mark Jacques; founder and chair of the Boon Wurrung Foundation, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs AM; architect Jefa Greenaway with Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert, Samaneh Moafi of Forensic Architecture, and Caitlyn Parry.

For this talk, they’ve been asked to reflect on projects that amplify and register cultural memories, pre-histories and knowledges of place that are deeply present in the buildings, spaces and landscapes of our city. A great way to kick off the program.

Open House Melbourne announced Built/Unbuilt theme
The Theatre inside The Capitol, photography by Tatjana Plitt.

2. Queen & Collins building tour


This newly completed precinct has caught our attention with its Neo-Gothic architectural flair, the way in which it has been embedded into the city, and the precinct’s own unique features – including Venetian-inspired courtyards. Indesignlive wrote about it recently here, and you can plan your tour here.

Open House Melbourne announced Built/Unbuilt theme
Queen & Collins, photography courtesy of GPT.

3. Take Hold Of The Clouds – exhibition programming


We love that the OHM program has expanded into a series of site-specific – and actually specifically non-site in one case – works. Take Hold Of The Clouds refers to the exhibition program which will take over the city. And there are at least two pieces in that program which we’ll be visiting…

4. Julia McInern’s Joanna at Villa Alba


Who could forget the beauty of Villa Alba during Melbourne Design Week this year – what a mysterious and evocative stage it offered for the designers who showcased there. Which is why we’re looking forward to returning to see McInern’s installation, entitled Joanna after the artist’s mother. More here

Villa Alba, photography by Russell Winnell.

5. Snack Syndicate at Victorian Trades Hall & Literary Institute


Doesn’t this sound like fun? Snack Syndicate will revive the historic 3KZ radio station for These Thoughts Large and Public (2022), a series of readings, talks and conversations around the history and future of labour. The talks will take place in Solidarity Hall, recently renovated by Lovell Chen, with invited guests discussing labour history, First Nations’ organising, sex work and social reproduction, artistic labour, the gig economy and the history of the building. Sign me up!

6. Glenroy Community Hub by DesignInc – tour


Designed as a ‘social connector’ of community, we’re particularly keen to check out its outdoor spaces and the new Glenroy Library, which the architects have envisaged as the new health and wellness space. Add to itinerary

Glenroy Community Hub by DesignInc, photography Dianna Snape.

7. Hütt 01 Passivhaus – building tour


Peter Maddison recounted the fascinating and heart-rending story of this dwelling, soon to feature on Grand Designs. Envisaged and project managed by its owners on a curious block of land, it endured a fire prior to move-in and was rebuilt again. Most interesting to us, it’s a certified Passivhouse ‘Premium’, producing more energy than it uses. I want to see how that happens.

Open House Melbourne announced Built/Unbuilt theme
Hütt 01 Passive House, photography by Maitreya Chandorka.

8. Brighton’s Billilla Historic Mansion – building tour


In a city that sports so much new and exciting architecture, we can’t help but love the historic buildings. OHM will be a rare opportunity to see this 1878-built mansion and its beautiful estate. Read more

Open House Melbourne announced Built/Unbuilt theme
Billilla Historic Mansion, photography courtesy of Bayside City Council collection.

9. Market Lane by Elenberg Fraser – building tour


This is a rare opportunity to discover the inner realm of an award-winning development and outstanding workplace – including those outdoor office spaces that sit upon the terraces, surrounded by vegetation. More here.

Market Lane, photography by Damien Kook.

10. Victorian Holocaust Museum by Kerstin Thompson Architects – building tour


A last minute addition to the program is the brand new Victorian Holocaust Museum. It’s a rare opportunity to see this space, freshly finished. Read more

Open House Melbourne announced Built/Unbuilt theme
Melbourne Holocaust Museum, photography by David Neustein.

Open House Melbourne runs 30 and 31 July 2022.

Open House Melbourne


Alice Blackwood

Alice Blackwood is the Editorial Director at Indesign Media, and Editor of Indesign magazine and Indesignlive.com. She is a trained journalist and editor, with a background in branding and communications strategy. For more than 15 years Alice has been a passionate advocate of the architecture and design industry within Australia and the wider Indo-Pacific region. Through her work on international design festivals, regional awards programs including the INDE.Awards, as well as in print and digital media, she has helped establish numerous major platforms that recognise and celebrate the region’s most exciting architecture and design, and elevate those industry leaders into the global spotlight. “Our region’s design is defined by its fresh, yet hungry entrepreneurial spirit, its bold thought and brave actions, the flawless execution of complex ideas, and world-leading outcomes. I’m fascinated by all the moving parts of our architecture and design community – the businesses, the brands, the big-thinkers and everyday-doers.” Alice remains an active member of the Australian design and media industries as a Moderator, MC, Judge, Commentator, Mentor and Advisor. Among her main passions are workplace design, education design, healthcare design, wellness design, hospitality design and the business of design.