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Brisbane Open House 2017

Home > Brisbane > Architecture | Festivals | Free | Historic Houses | Unusual Things to do
by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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Brisbane's architectural treasures on display, and it's free
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St John's Cathedral - one of the buildings on Display for Brisbane Open House 2017. Image from Brisbane Open House Facebook page.


The architecture of a city captures its history and essence in tangible forms. It is both an art form and a mirror of a society through time, allowing us glimpses of the past, a reflection of the present and a taste of things to come. Okay, so now my secret is out - I'm a bit of an architecture wonk (but purely an amateur one). If you love architecture, too, or if you'd simply like to see some of Brisbane's most interesting grand or obscure, historical or contemporary, work or private residence buildings, then get excited. Brisbane is once again flinging wide the doors of its architectural treasures for its annual architecture festival, Brisbane Open House.

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Buildings
The main weekend of all this architectural activity is Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October 2017. On this weekend you'll get behind-the-scenes access to some of the buildings you probably see every day. Some of the buildings you can visit this year are the Commissariat Store Museum; the Wickham Terrace landmark, Craigston; Old Government House, QUT; ABC Brisbane Centre; Peters Ice Cream Factory; Fort Lytton; Archerfield Airport; and many, many more. Over ninety buildings are open for you to explore, and it's all FREE.

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Miegunyah House Museum. Image from Brisbane Open House Facebook page.

You can create your very own itinerary by using the Brisbane Open House Itinerary Planner here, and you can download a PDF program, complete with helpful maps here.

Children's Program
Some of this year's buildings even have special programs and activities for kids, and they're all FREE. Participating buildings include Museum of Brisbane, Guardian Early Learning Centre, Hames Sharley Studio, Peters Icecream Factory, State Library of Queensland, and Queensland Brain Institute.

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Peters Ice Cream Factory. Image by Angus Martin Photography from Brisbane Open House Facebook page.

Pre-Booked Buildings
Some of the buildings are so popular that you will need to register and pre-book your place. Bookings for these buildings open at 9am on Thursday 21 September. But be warned, some of these tours fill very quickly (obviously I'm not the only architecture wonk in Brisbane).

See Brisbane Airport in a new light (when you're not in a hurry to get somewhere) from the comfort of a bus seat and with access to the Plane Spotters area. Find out what happens inside the Clem7 Tunnel Control Centre, which runs 24/7, managing traffic control, incident response and environmental systems. Discover that archive storage isn't the dusty, boring activity you probably think it is at Queensland State Archives.

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Clem7 Tunnel Control Centre. Image from Brisbane Open House Facebook page.

Tours
As part of the festival you can get up close and personal with urban designers, landscape architects, urban planners and historians who will walk you through a number of popular CBD sites including Roma Street Parkland, Toowong Cemetery and South Bank Parklands. Bookings for these tours are OPEN NOW. Book online here.


Speaker Series

Brisbane Open House includes some special events in the run-up to the Open House weekend. "The 2017 Speakers Series will explore what influences the shape, experiences and growth of our city and its buildings." Check the full list here but highlights include the panel discussion Making it Local on Wednesday 20 September; and the Great Debate on Thursday 28 September where six leading architects, designers, planners and business leaders will pitch their arguments for and against the proposition that 'Heritage is an obstacle to progression'. Bookings for these events are open now.

Made in Brisbane
The free program Made in Brisbane, will let you see the work and work spaces of some of Brisbane's leading creatives, designers and artisans. Join a behind-the-scenes demonstration and workshop by blacksmith Robert Everingham at Ironfist by Robert Everingham or experience the design and manufacturing process at Luxxbox Design Studio and Factory.

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Image from Brisbane Open House Facebook page.

And it's not too late to volunteer for Brisbane Open House. For your assistance you'll "receive 'front of queue' access to non-booked buildings in the program, a special edition collectable tote bag designed by our 2017 BOH local artist, Building Guidebook, and an invite to our volunteer thank you drinks at the end of the day.

Celebrate Brisbane's unique architecture at Brisbane Open House 2017.

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Why? check out Brisbane's history through its architecture
When: Speaker Series begins on 20 September. Registrations for pre-booked buildings open on 21 September. Brisbane Open House weekend on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October 2017.
Where: Venues all over Brisbane
Cost: FREE
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