Ever wanted to look inside the ornate old naval offices on the corner of Edward and Alice Streets in the city? Or the Spanish Mission-styled Craigston, perched high on Wickham Terrace? Or even the cavernous, old Spring Hill Service Reservoirs that overlook Turbot Street?
This weekend you can, as more than 100 buildings – old and new, civic and private – open their doors to the public for Brisbane Open House. It will mark the seventh local edition of an event that began in London in 1992 and has since spread to more than 40 cities around the world.
“It’s all about giving people an easy and accessible way to connect with great architecture,” says event manager Ann Rainbow. “We showcase all different styles. And we stretch from Port of Brisbane right over to Archerfield and then Wacol.”
And before you make some remark about Brisbane knocking over all its old buildings, Rainbow disagrees. “There are still an awful lot of heritage buildings,” she says. “What amazes me is how many people have never had an opportunity to visit some of these buildings, and some of them that are publicly accessible at other times, like the Commissariat Store Museum or Fort Lytton. This gives people an excuse to really engage with them.”
Open House is also an opportunity to start a conversation about modern architecture and what Brisbane should preserve for future generations.
Numerous buildings are opening for the first time in 2016, including the cutting edge 480 Queen Street development, the newly opened Hassell and Richard Kirk Architects-designed Precinct Stage II building at QUT Kelvin Grove, and Patrick AutoStrad Terminal at Port of Brisbane.
Otherwise, there are speaker series, kids’ programs, a photography competition and more. “There’s certainly something for everyone,” Rainbow says.
Brisbane Open House takes place at various locations across the city this weekend October 8-9. See the website for details.