Melbournians! Open House bears down like a runaway train and the city is ready to show her hidden treaures and frilly architectural undergarments to a curious throng. Here’s a tiny sampler of the choicest Modernst Australian-infused picks (though we’d be partial to pretty much anything on the building/exhibition/concert menu this year) and let’s hear a cheer for a highlight of the year – huzzah for Open House!

First up is wonderful heritage stalwartds Prof. Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad presenting a floor talk at football o’clock (2pm saturday arvo)  walking us through thier new book ‘Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design’ and also dovetailing exhibition (for free!) presently on at the Melbourne Uni School of Design, ‘Australia Modern: from the iconic to the everyday.’ Discussing the genesis of this book with associated histories, homes and (possibly juicy) anecdotes, you could not be in more genial and enlightening Modernist hands.

‘Australian Modern: From The Iconic to The Everyday’  – Floor talk Saturday 27 July 2pm. Exibition 22nd July – 30th August.

Next up, a trip to the movies with the Open House month-long program for a collection of interviews and archival material from some of the greats of Melbourne’s Modernist architecture story including, but not limited to Daryl Jackson, Graeme Gunn, Phyllis Murphy and a fresh new view hearing from one of the lesser name-checked architects, Dione McIntye. As stated;
“You are invited to a special screening of the 2019 Modern Melbourne extended interview with Dione McIntyre, a University of Melbourne architecture graduate in the early 1950s, accomplished Melbourne architect, and Peter McIntyre’s business and life partner.”

‘Modern Melbourne’, Thursday 25th July. Booking essential.

And now a subject close to our heart with the public viewing of a landmark apartment building which stands sentinel of what we call ‘Marvellous Migrant Melbourne Modernism’, Edgewater Towers in St Kilda (c.1961). Presiding over Mid-Century Melbourne’s bohemian beachfront, start of the bagel beltway and concentrated cluster of some of the most majestically designed and crafted residences in the nation. With its 13 shining storeys, this urbane tower is a burst of high-density sophistication unseen in this sleepy outpost until ushered in by our European diaspora with names like Mordechai Benshemesh, Harry Seidler and Neville Gruzman. Tres chic. Quelle Magnifique.

Edgewater Towers, St Kilda. Saturday 27 July 10am–4pm, with tours on the half hour. 

To finish, we go West where the future lies and the suburbs venture to the horizon. Here we have the council chambers for the City of Hobson’s Bay (c.1963) through which we see, in its optomistic, science-focused outlook in architectural form and engineering, a still utilised for original purpose building to this day. That is a rare feat for a local public building in an embryonic suburb at the time. 

Hobson’s Bay City Council Chambers. Open Saturday 27 July 10am–2pm. Self guided visits.