While the full program of Open House Melbourne 2022 will be released to the public Thursday 30 June, lovers of Melbourne’s unique venues, architecture and design will relish the opportunity to have a special sneak peek of this year’s program and venues curated under the theme of Built/Unbuilt.
This year is shaping up to be one of the largest ever and the first in person OHM Weekend in three years with a new major exhibition that will take over seven venues across Melbourne; an exclusive first look at the just-completed Melbourne Holocaust Museum designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects; behind-the-scenes tours of other new program additions such as the award-winning Collingwood Yards by Fieldwork and passive house-certified Glenroy Community Hub by Design Inc.
A book launch meets heritage tour for Chris Womersley’s new novel The Diplomat at St Kilda’s iconic Hotel Esplanade, in partnership with the Wheeler Centre; a talk series on social and affordable housing in Australia; and the continuation of OHM’s ongoing collaboration with the Koorie Heritage Trust on the Map of Kulin Melbourne – Sites of Indigenous Significance.
New Participating Venues to the Program:
Melbourne Holocaust Museum
This is a rare opportunity to experience the building in its pure architectural form and prior to its fit-out with extensive exhibitions and programming. Encompassing the existing heritage building on the south-eastern corner, the new Melbourne Holocaust Museum designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects is conceived in stark contrast to the bunker-like forms of many Holocaust museums around the world. Exclusive, limited size tours led by Kerstin Thompson AM and Melbourne Holocaust Museum CEO Jayne Josem.
Designed by Fieldwork to harness a physical space that fosters collaboration, Collingwood Yards is the first precinct of its kind in Australia. It delivers a vibrant, mixed-use space for the arts – a place of cultural and artistic production with an open interface to the public. The expansive site positions architecture as a medium to foster new ecologies and welcome the public into the process of artistic creation on a granular level. Join tours with principal architect Joachim Holland from Fieldwork and resident artist, Channon Goodwin of Composite.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Led by the Koorie Heritage Trust’s (KHT) consultation with Lyons, the building’s relocation project to Federation Square was an opportunity to show the role that architecture and design can play in facilitating collaboration and representing First Nations culture in the community. The result is a space designed to place Indigenous culture both literally and figuratively in the heart of Melbourne. For the OHM Weekend, there will be a limited-capacity building tour with a KHT representative and Lyons’ Associate, Fiona Lew. All visitors can also view two new exhibitions: Barring – Nganjin, meaning Our Path Our Journey – an exhibition from Stolen Generations Survivors and Deanne Gilson’s solo exhibition, Still Sacred and Golden.
Glenroy Community Hub
Australia’s first passive house-certified community centre, the Glenroy Community Hub was designed by DesignInc. A garden experience, biophilic design principles and public activity spaces provide the framework for community connection. The considered approach to its construction strategically positions the Hub as a ‘social connector’, exemplifying here how good design can encourage awareness of and interaction with the range of social services available.
Victorian Family Violence Memorial
Designed by Muir Architecture and Open Work, the recently completed Victorian Family Violence Memorial project provides a public recognition of the broad scale community impact of this issue, creates a space that recognises the experiences of those affected by it and seeks to raise awareness to the shared responsibility we have to address it. Consultation with victim-survivor groups and Victims and Survivors Advisory Committee (VSAC) as well as Traditional Owners informed the design, which is embedded with layers of symbolism that speak to the gravity and sensitivity of the impact of family violence.
Rebuild La Mama
In 2019 a devastating fire destroyed most of this historically significant and heritage-listed building but a determined rebuild led by Meg White and Cottee Parker Architects, with heritage consultancy from GJM Heritage, saw it rise from the ashes and reopen in late 2021. In a true phoenix tale, La Mama’s reincarnation has retained and reimagined unique features like the internal staircase, fireplace and trapdoor while improving accessibility and amenity across the whole site, and considering environmental impact with solar panels, a water tank and double glazing.
Munro Precinct Community Hub – City Room
Located opposite the Queen Victoria Market, this project will house the city’s largest new community hub in one of Australia’s most sustainable mixed-use developments designed by Six Degrees with Bates Smart Architects. The 500-space market car park opened in July 2021, affordable housing welcomed new residents in December 2021 and the community facilities will open in 2023. For the Weekend, visitors can join architect-led tours including the new level 1 City Room, set to become the new city library.
Special Events, Tours and Panel Discussions:
Take Hold of the Clouds – New exhibition with city as gallery
Take Hold of the Clouds is a curated exhibition of responsive creative works distributed across seven of the city’s most iconic buildings and urban spaces, in partnership with Monash University. Contributors include Forensic Architecture at The Capitol, Cauleen Smith at the Melbourne Quakers Centre and Kent Morris at the St Kilda Foreshore Vaults. A feature of this year’s festival, the exhibition weaves into the July program with each temporal creative work adding a new layer to how we understand these spaces in relation to the world around us. Details of each artwork will be revealed 30 June.
Making Home: Housing with Care
Architect and housing advocate Tania Davidge curates this series of talks unpacking the issues that influence the provision of social and affordable housing in Australia. It also addresses the importance of the delivery of housing as part of a broader infrastructure of care and looks at how architects, housing providers and government are working to make a difference. Creating homes requires more than just housing; these talks examine what services and support are required and asks how they can be integrated through design.
Guildford and Hardware Lane – a historian’s tour
The Guildford and Hardware laneways were developed initially to provide rear service access to properties, and as thoroughfares through the blocks and between streets. The intense subdivision of the 1850s gold-rush period saw many of the rear lanes evolve into distinct streets with their own frontages. Join architecture historians Libby Blamey and Meighen Katz for a social history walking tour of the Guildford and Hardware Lane precinct and insight into the less well-known parts of Melbourne’s beloved laneways.
Modern Melbourne premiere and panel discussion
Modern Melbourne short film series makes a grand return featuring Peter Elliott, one of Australia’s most celebrated architects and winner of the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2017 – the highest honour for an Australian architect. Premiering at ACMI on Thursday 28 July to launch the Weekend festival, it will be the first exclusive screening of this episode. This episode delves into Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design’s continued exploration of what Peter describes as a form of ‘urban acupuncture’ – a dexterous, responsive and topographic approach to the relationship between architecture and the city.
Chris Womersley: The Diplomat at The Ghost of Alfred Felton, Hotel Esplanade
Award-winning author Chris Womersley’s new novel The Diplomat is a powerful story of grief and recovery, set in the 1990s drug and art underworld of Melbourne. Presented in partnership with the Wheeler Centre and taking place in (and supported by) St Kilda’s Hotel Esplanade, Womersley will discuss the novel’s influences and the area’s real-life artistic community of the 1990s. The book talk is followed by an intimate tour of the venue’s historical spaces with a focus on Alfred Felton’s impact on Melbourne led by The Espy’s owner Matt Mullins.
The 2022 Open House Melbourne Weekend takes place: 30 & 31 July. Full program to be announced on 30 June. For more information, visit: www.openhousemelbourne.org for details.
Image: Collingwood Yards – photo by Stefan Postles