Open House Melbourne 2021: Peek inside the city’s most iconic buildings

Open House Melbourne - Pic Story

The annual Open House Melbourne weekend kicks off today with a series of live-streamed talks held at The Capitol. RMIT student Alannah Kein marvels at the theatre’s colourful roof. Picture: David Caird

Take a peek through some of the city’s most eye-catching buildings from the comfort of your own home with this year’s virtual Open House Melbourne program.

The annual festival, which lets sticky beaks inside some of our most significant public spaces, homes and offices, isn’t letting Victoria’s latest lockdown stand in the way of its 2021 events.

A collection of free online events will be on offer from July 24 to July 25 – including a first look at the brand-new Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda, architect talks at Melbourne Connect and the Science Gallery, plus virtual tours of St Paul’s Cathedral and The Capitol at RMIT University.

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The Capitol was originally designed by Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin in 1924, but RMIT worked with Six Degrees Architects to update it between 2014–2019. Picture: John Gollings

The Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-built LGBTQIA+ community hub in Australia.

Inside the spectacular structure. Picture: Luke David

The Capitol will also hold the opening event, This Is Public, with a series of livestreamed talks from under the iconic theatre’s spectacular rainbow lights and intricate crystalline ceiling.

Open House Melbourne executive director Fleur Watson said the program was initially set to take place in person, but now the events were available to “everyone wherever you are in Victoria or, in fact, the world”.

“We are all really aware of seeing our city and our public spaces empty and feeling a bit disconnected in light of Covid-19,” Ms Watson said.

Powered by the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Connect will host an Architects Talk: Designing an Innovation Precinct. Picture: Peter Casamento

There will also be a virtual tour of Melbourne Quakers Centre. The building is a centre and symbol for the pursuit of world peace. Picture: John Gollings

“This year’s theme of ‘reconnect’ speaks to our collective desire to reconnect with our city and our suburbs and reimagine our future together with fresh eyes.”

The online event for the Victorian Pride Centre, which is the first purpose-built LGBTQIA+ community hub in Australia, will showcase the seven-storey building that is home to 15 organisations, a meeting space for LGBTIQA+ clubs and groups and a cultural and social hub with a theatrette, gallery, rooftop event space and bars.

The architects of Collins Arch will present the journey taken to transform a Melbourne city block into a vibrant mixed-use precinct. Picture: Trevor Mein

Other popular VR and video tours returning to the OHM21 program include Orica House, Arts Centre Melbourne, Trades Hall, City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection, Victorian Archives Centre and more.

Open House Melbourne is presented by the Centre for Architecture Victoria and its weekend of curated events has grown significantly since its 2008 launch, when just eight Swanston St buildings were part of the program.

To see the full program and join the events, visit for more information.

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