8 extraordinary public places to explore behind the scenes

Public places and spaces open their arms to people all year round – and on Open House Melbourne weekend you can see even more.

Step backstage and behind the scenes with special tours of Melbourne icons on 30 and 31 July 2022.

Here are eight public places for you to explore during Open House, or just drop by anytime for a Melbourne experience.

1. Koorie Heritage Trust – gaze out at the river while enjoying exhibitions of Victorian Aboriginal artwork and artefacts year-round. During Open House, take a tour to learn about the design process and fit-out.

2. Collins Arch – relax in the green space around this landmark mixed-use tower development that occupies an entire city block. Beneath the iconic building, designers created an attractive public space for everyone’s enjoyment. Tours will explain the design process.

3. Library and community hub at the Dock and Southbank’s Boyd Community Hub – visit the libraries, play areas and makers spaces in Docklands and Southbank – they’re public and open for all. We sought out the best architectural thinking based around our design excellence principles to create these important public spaces.

4. ArtPlay – hosting more than 300 workshops, events and performances every year,  ArtPlay invites children to get creative. As part of Open House Melbourne, the venue opens its doors to showcase The Future of Toys exhibition.

5. St Paul’s Cathedral – take a self-guided tour or attend a service. Built between 1880 and 1931, the neo-Gothic building welcomes more than 400,000 visitors a year.

La Mama

Rediscover La Mama in Carlton

6. La Mama Theatre – hear about a joyful story of survival. Almost destroyed by fire, the historic theatre has been rebuilt on its Carlton site. Join a tour or Q&A session with staff and architects during Open House Melbourne.

7. Old Customs House – home to the Immigration Museum, this 19th century landmark has an Open House workshop based around Aboriginal languages and “unbuilding” colonial environments.

8. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – enjoy a guided sneak peek behind the scenes during Open House of this vast venue, which hosts big public events all year round.

Visit our Open House Melbourne events

Want more? We’re proud to host a number of tours as part of Open House Melbourne.

Whether it’s a self-guided tour or our knowledgeable staff sharing their passion for development and design, here are five City of Melbourne tours with something for everyone.

1. Hear from our City Design team about how public realm projects and private developments contribute to Melbourne’s unique character on our Design Excellence Tour.

2. Explore our historic Melbourne Town Hall, built in 1870.

3. Take a self-guided tour to get to know the Greenline, our plans to transform the northbank of the Yarra – Birrarung.

4. Take a sneak peek of the Munro Community Hub, part of the Queen Victoria Market renewal.

5. Bring the kids and explore 40 of our favourite playgrounds with our Pocketbook of playspaces.

For more information, visit Open House Melbourne.

Treetop playground

Play in the treetops at Lincoln Square, Carlton