Open House Melbourne explores our virtual city

Open House Melbourne will present the largest collection of virtual tours in Australia by allowing visitors to tour over fifty buildings across Melbourne from the comfort of their own home

Virtual tours will feature an inside-look into buildings not otherwise accessible to the public, such as Parliament House, the Melbourne School of Design’s Glyn Davis Building (pictured above) and the FAB9 Makerspace, among others. 


Pictured from L-R: Parliament House, Melbourne School of Design’s Glyn Davis Building, FAB9 Makerspace

In the lead-up to the virtual weekend announced for the 25th and 26th July, digitising these significant spaces in a time where physical movement is limited means that the 2020 program will provide an exciting opportunity to celebrate one of the world’s most liveable cities and explore the city like never before.


To do this, Open House Melbourne has partnered with PHORIA, an award-winning immersive tech studio based in Melbourne, Australia. PHORIA extends human experiences with cutting-edge spatial technologies, and owns the leading platform for Virtual Tour management, CAPTUR3D.


The homegrown start-up is known for their work in several local and international projects such as Antecedent, the AR experience of internationally acclaimed Empire by RONE, as well as REWILD Our Planet – an AR gameplay that showcases the Earth’s vulnerability through innovative storytelling, which recently won a highly coveted Webby Award.


As the leading platform for virtual-tour creation, PHORIA has aligned with Open House Melbourne to capture many treasured sites across the city that will engage new audiences from not only across Melbourne – but around the world.


While virtual tour experiences are a major focus of the 2020 digital program, the month of July will kick-off with key programs including annual highlights like the Speaker Series set for Wednesday, 1 July and the Heritage Address that will be delivered by Stuart Harrison, host of Restoration Australia on ABC, which will go live on Wednesday, 15 July.


Both key programs will be made available online via the website as detailed below.




Presented by Open House Melbourne and the ARBV, this annual talk marks the beginning of Open House Melbourne’s ‘month of architecture’ and presents a diverse cross-section of design disciplines and building typologies that make up the built fabric of Melbourne. The projects discussed range from new approaches to grandstands, to sustainable heritage, from innovative public squares to the stand alone house. This is a rare opportunity to hear from experts on the design process behind the built outcome. Confirmed speakers include:


Jeffery Copolov – Director, Bates Smart. Presenting: Victoria Racing Club

Anne-Marie Treweeke – Practice Principal, Lovell Chen. Presenting: University of Melbourne Old Quad

Adrian Stanic – Director, Lyons. Presenting: Prahran Square

Ruth Wilson – Principal, Architectus. Presenting: State Library Redevelopment

Mel Bright – Director, Studio Bright. Presenting: Ruckers Hill House 2020




Presented by Open House Melbourne and the Heritage Council of Victoria, this year’s 2020 Heritage Address proudly welcomes Australian architect and host of Restoration Australia, Stuart Harrison, who will be exploring themes of heritage and design advocacy featured in the show from previous seasons as well as the upcoming series yet to be aired. Harrison is an advocate for good design and the re-use of buildings and believes in a strong link between history and contemporary practice.


This annual talk is a fundamental part of the OHM ‘month of architecture’ and a highlight event for many attendees. Previous years have included celebrated architect Kerstin Thompson and Modernist lover/comedian Tim Ross. For 2020, OHM works with HCV to engage one speaker to deliver an in-depth presentation about a recent project/s significant to Victoria, featuring important conservation work.


About Open House Melbourne:


Open House Melbourne is an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in design in the built environment. We exist because we believe a more engaged public will result in better design outcomes for our buildings, our streets and our cities. We are registered as a charity (as Melbourne Open House Inc) with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission ABN 68295482310, we are part of the Open House Worldwide network, and we are an initiative of the Committee for Melbourne Future Focus Leadership Program.


Image credits:

Queen’s Hall and the Vestibule, Parliament House. Photographed by Nick Bebbington

Melbourne School of Design Glyn Davis Building. Courtesy of MSD

FAB9 Makerspace. Photographed by Will Neil