Open House Melbourne takes place this weekend

OHM-Trades-Hall-Victoria-StreetOpen House Melbourne (OHM) kicks off this weekend (29 & 30 July) with doors opening to some of the city’s most intriguing, iconic and innovative new places and spaces. With 200 events the OHM program is packed with films, talks, guided building tours, exhibitions and self-guided walks.

This year’s theme, Collective City, celebrates Melbourne’s rich architectural heritage and highlights the importance of inclusivity, accessibility, and community diversity as we head towards a city population of 8 million by 2050.

With a collection of free and pre-booked events available Open House Melbourne will see over 70,000 people explore
returning favourites and discover the hidden architectural gems our city has to offer. Weekend Program highlights include:

Albanian Mosque
Saturday 29 (open 1.00pm – 4.00pm) + Sunday 30 July (open 11.00am – 2.00pm)
Melbourne’s first mosque, the Albanian Australian Islamic Society (AAIS) mosque, serves the local Albanian Muslim community as well as Muslims of the inner north of Melbourne. With a variety of adaptable rooms, the site is used for prayer, lectures, and community gatherings. Hosted by AAIS volunteers, informal tours will be taken through the mosque where you can observe on of the five daily prayers or catch a glimpse of the renovations being done to the new ablution area and courtyard.

Melbourne Fringe at Trades Hall
Saturday 29 + Sunday 30 July (open access 10.00am – 4.00pm) | reading: Saturday 29 July (2.00pm)
Take one of the Trades Hall’s historic guided tours and discover short films, radio plays, and other screen art from the Melbourne Fringe Festival’s weird and wonderful archives. Secreted in multiple locations throughout the building, Melbourne Fringe will present a special live reading of Bad News – an animated radio play about media ownership, by the award-winning theatre company Bloomshed.

Melbourne Recital Centre
Sunday 30 July (open access 10.00am – 4:30pm)
Since opening in 2009, the Recital Centre (MRC) has been a major contributor to Australia’s vibrant musical landscape and is testament to the passion, vision, and generosity of Melbourne’s music-loving community. Aside from the guided venue tours, which are seriously fascinating (did you know the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall is built on 38 giant steel springs to keep the building from wobbling during performances?) MRC will also be presenting DUET feat. You & Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – this limited ticket opportunity gives punters a chance to get five minutes alone on the stage of one of the best concert halls in the world to do whatever they like (within reason). They can stand on the stage and SCREAM or meditate. Take a nap or do star jumps. It’s entirely up to the performer. With such fabulous acoustics, it’s also a chance for people to enjoy true, uninterrupted silence.

This is Public: Collective City
Friday 28 July (6:30 – 8.00pm – bookings required)
Hear from our leading architects, designers, and creative practitioners who explore concepts that emphasise the value of communal, adaptable, and responsive design techniques in creating a more egalitarian, accessible, and inclusive city. This is Public: Collective City is held at the Capitol Theatre and presented in partnership with RMIT University’s School of Architecture & Urban Design.

What architects do
Saturday 29 July (panel talks from 10.00am – 5.00pm – bookings required)
Visit the headquarters of the Australian Institute of Architects at 41X for their What architects do – a series of presentations unpacking how architects work and the benefits of specialised areas of the architectural process.

Art and Heritage Collection Store – Melbourne Town Hall
Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 July (bookings required)
After 22 years on the outskirts of Melbourne’s central city grid, last year the City of Melbourne’s Collection Store returned to its historic location at Melbourne Town Hall. This once-in-a-generation relocation has had an exciting impact on how the collection is managed and showcased, with the collection’s presentation now centred in open display storage, which closely mirrors a global trend. The collection’s relocation to Town Hall, Melbourne’s civic core, is symbolic of this development and consists of a wide spectrum of cultural material, which totals over 13,000 items. The collection store serves as a research, conservation, and collection management hub.

University of Melbourne: Thinking of You exhibition
Saturday 29 + Sunday 30 July (open access 10.00am – 4.00pm) | floor talk: Saturday 29 July (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Thinking of You showcases MGS Architects’ projects that make the city more equitable, accessible, and inclusive, particularly through the voices of residents, commuters, students, workers, and visitors. Thinking of You is the latest exhibition in the Melbourne School of Design’s alumni survey series, sponsored by the University of Melbourne. MGS Architects will host an Exhibition Floor Talk: Why That Colour? And discuss the exhibition and how their work helps to the prosperity of its clients and the development of a more inclusive city

The 2023 Open House Melbourne Weekend takes place across Melbourne on Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 July. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Trades Hall – Victoria Street Entrance (supplied)