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Explore Melbourne Open House 2012

GET lost in the labyrinth of Melbourne’s 100 most iconic buildings. Clarissa Cheng gives you the architecture of the Melbourne Open House event. 

Photo: Adam Selwood

Ever wanted to take a peep into that peculiar graffiti-inspired apartment on 26 Sutton Place ? Or perhaps to score a one-day pass into the exclusive member’s only Denmark House?

Now here’s your chance – for just one weekend, get lost in the labyrinth of a record 100 of Melbourne’s most eclectic buildings during Melbourne Open House from July 28 to 29.

Held annually, the Open House not only endeavours to allow public access to the city’s architectural wonders, but also aims to showcase the layers of rich history these featured buildings encompass.

A range of themes will be featured in this year’s event, including medical facilities, gardens in the sky, residential housing and underground sites, says Open House spokesman Robert Larocca.

“Visitors will learn not just about the history of the Melbourne’s built form, but about the city itself,” he says.

“Each building has its own history and reveals something about the fascinating story of Melbourne. Each building helps explain how Melbourne has developed into the liveable city that it is now.”

Mission to Seafarers, Docklands - Melbourne Open House

Mission to Seafarers in Docklands. Photo: littleyiye via Flickr

Take 131 Queen Street for example – currently a mixed-use building, the tour not only includes a tour up to the rooftop garden retrofitted with the Green Roof Technology, but a journey down a staircase to the mezzanine and ground floor to the Buddhist Temple where the Great Bookie Robbery transpired. The tour continues its voyage via the basement bar which exhibits intriguing paraphernalia of the robbery.

In addition to the tours, you may also be interested in sitting in on the Speaker Series (which are free), and listen to prominent Melbourne architects, landscape architects and interior designers present some of their projects, explaining the concepts and processes behind the built work

Be sure to make your way to the Open Houses early, as the program has a history of being immensely popular, with a record number of 106,000 visits last year. Do check out these top 10 tips on how you can make the most of the Melbourne Open House experience.

The full program of the weekend’s events has been released on the Open House website.

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