In a pre-coronavirus world, Open House welcomed Melburnians into normally closed-off houses, offices and businesses around the city. But, in light of the pandemic, its 13th instalment will look a little different.
You’ll be able to skip the physical queues this year – the entire program of free design and architecture events is going virtual.
Iconic Melbourne buildings were captured using cutting-edge VR technology and there’ll be more than 50 virtual building tours, which will be accessible from July 16 to August 31.
Walk the hallways of Victoria’s historic Parliament House, and – on Facebook Live – experience the lowering of the grand chandelier in Queens Hall, and step onto the roof overlooking Spring Street (where Members of Parliament work).
Another highlight is Carlton’s Trades Hall, one of the oldest continuously active union buildings in the world. You’ll gain (virtual) access to the Old Council Chambers for the first time since they underwent conversation works to restore their mid-1880s glory.
You can also explore all 6500 square metres of Melbourne’s new cross-disciplinary creative hub, Collingwood Yards (with a sneak peek of a soon-to-open rooftop bar); Lyon Housemuseum, a striking privately-owned house that doubles as a contemporary art museum; and Salter House, a concrete-brick cottage originally designed in 1924 by renowned architect Walter Burley Griffin (who also designed the Capitol Theatre).
On Saturday and Sunday July 25 and 26, there’ll be a series of live-streamed tours, panels and Q&As with some of the city’s best designers and architects, paying particular attention to the environmental impacts designing Covid-safe spaces.
Plus, as part of MPavilion and Melbourne Music Week's Merge program, five local musicians will perform at five Open House spaces across Melbourne (including Jack’s Magazine, an intriguing former explosives store by the banks of the Maribyrnong River).