Anyone with an ounce of curiosity as to what’s inside some of Brisbane’s prominent and landmark buildings can find out for free on the 2016 Brisbane Open House weekend.
This year some 100 buildings, many of them heritage and others significant architecturally or engineering-wise will be open for viewing, either self-guided or with a guide. Included in the historical line-up are Brisbane's only 2 remaining convict-built structures – The Commissariat Stores and the Old Windmill* tower.
Throughout the CBD and inner city, visitors can check out historic places of worship St Stephen's Chapel (where a piece of Mary MacKillop's coffin is embedded in the floor) and St Stephen's Cathedral, Albert Street Uniting Church, All Saints Angican Church, St Andrews Uniting Church, Ann St Presbyterian Church, St John's Cathedral, the City Baptist Tabernacle, old Spring Hill Reservoirs ( a must see) and Brisbane Masonic Memorial Temple.
Also in the CBD iconic landmarks Parliament House, the Treasury Hotel, Brisbane City Hall, The Chambers and Customs House will open their doors...Of contemporary architectural significance are BVN studio, Bureau Proberts Architects and Brisbane Square Library while demonstrating contemporary life for an historic building are Arkhefield in the old Qld brewery and Spring Hill's first apartment block Craigston.
The cultural precinct will also be throwing open its doors with behind the scenes tours of QPAC’s stages, QPAC, QAG, Griffith University's Film School and Qld Conservatorium, Qld Maritime Museum, and the ABC building. Further afield the Gabba is letting visitors go behind the scenes as is the old Princess Theatre (Brisbane's oldest) and the Diamantina Health Care Museum at the Mater Hospital.
In the suburbs, visitors can take a tour of Walter Taylor Bridge*, Fernberg* (Government House), Brisbane's first residential high rise Torbreck* at Highgate Hill and one of Brisbane's best examples of Bauhaus architecture in the 'burbs - Sweeney House*. Or head out to the Port of Brisbane and beyond to 19th century Fort Lytton or 1930s Archerfield Airport, with its splendid old art deco terminal.
Then take a glimpse into the future with Paddington's intriguing Left Over Space House* or New Farm's Garden Room House.
Meantime Newstead, Fortitude Valley and surrounds are showcasing buildings from the modern Brickworks Design Studio to the historic, including Mayne Medical School, Howard Street Wharves, Miegunyah and Brisbane's oldest residence Newstead House.
This year children are well catered for again with a free activity book that guides them through buildings, a free sweet treat from the re-opened Shingle Inn (for the first 80 children to visit the Inn each day) and colour and create a paper building at bureau^probert Architects, bridge-building workshops at Museum of Brisbane and colouring in and drawing at the convict Commissariat Building. And across the river at South Bank Parklands 'Our House - Open House' will have kids building miniatures of the 100 Brisbane buildings on show. Meanwhile there’s lots of hands-on fun on Sunday at Newstead House as well as a chance to explore the Roma Street Fire Station and many many more fun activities around Brisbane. FULL CHILDRENS PROGRAM HERE
Need to know: Guided tours fill up quickly and in most cases require pre-booking to avoid disappointment. Pre-booked buildings are marked with *.
Nice to know: In conjunction with the Open House building tours there's a great range of free concerts and events - see HERE
View the full program with all buildings HERE