Open House Melbourne is celebrating 10 years of talks, tours and workshops that explore good design outcomes in the built environment. A month-long program culminates with over 200 buildings opening their doors over the weekend of Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July. Here is our pick of what to see and do.
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
Jane Jacobs was a self-taught ‘urbanologist’ who encouraged people to participate in the development of their neighbourhoods and cities. Her steadfast belief that the life of a city emerges from the ground up permeates an ethos of community consultation on projects like our 122 Roseneath St. This gripping documentary, presented by ACMI and Open House Melbourne, explores the impact of her 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities and her battle over New York City’s urban direction, which brought her into conflict with master planner Robert Moses.
Several of Melbourne’s best small and medium-scale architecture practices are opening their studios for Open House Melbourne. We love the philosophy at Fieldwork in particular – ICON share their optimistic view that things can be made better through thoughtful design. Fieldwork is the sister company to small-footprint developer Assemble, who ICON worked with on our community-led development 122 Roseneath St. Also in the offices are publisher Assemble Papers and socially focused design studio Local People. Come and be inspired by this contemporary atelier.
Living Cities Forum
What does it mean to be the world’s most liveable city? What can Melbourne learn from other places? The Living Cities Forum is a one-day gathering, on Thursday 27 July, of global architecture and design leaders who come together for provocative and inspirational discussions about liveability and urbanism. Six international speakers – including David Gianotten of OMA, architect and Pritzker Prize jury member Benedetta Tagliabue, plus New York Times critic and Architect magazine editor Mimi Zeiger – lead a stimulating program over two sessions.
The A.D. Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Modernism meets antiquity in the library and apartment that famed architect Robin Boyd designed for classical art historian A.D. (Dale) Trendall. In the late 1960s Trendall was the first Resident Fellow at the new La Trobe University at Bundoora. Boyd created a combined workplace and home for Trendall that would house his extensive library and his private archive of over 40,000 photographs of ancient painted vases. Now a research centre, the apartment is otherwise unchanged and features a mix of Boyd-approved furniture alongside Trendall’s personal collections of art both modern and ancient.
Hidden behind a thick earth escarpment and bluestone walls is Jack’s Magazine. This fascinating heritage site, a former explosives store (known as a magazine), sits on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. Working Heritage, the organisation responsible for the site’s conservation and revitalisation, are leading tours of the site, which has been closed to the public since the 1990s. Visitors will get a chance to see its tunnels and tramways as well as inside the cavernous 19th-century gunpowder store. A must-see for anybody intrigued by Melbourne’s hidden industrial past.