Every year for the past three years the doors of some of Brisbane's historical and ground breaking new buildings have been on display thanks to Brisbane Open house. With a mix of the old, with their character and craftsmanship, and the new, with their technological advances in architecture and sustainability, there is something for everyone to appreciate.
Brisbane was formed first as a penal colony but then acknowledged as an area wealthy with natural resources so it was opened up to everyone. The area would come to be named Brisbane, after Sir Thomas Brisbane, then Governor of New South Whales.
With this richly diverse heritage came stately buildings and architecture that we celebrate with this free event. Brisbane Open House is held to coincide with World Architecture Day. When it first started in 2010 it opened doors to 12,500 people and has grown every year since.
Thankfully the city council of the 1970's had the forward thinking to keep the facades of the buildings along Queen Street. In that light more of the heritage buildings themselves that are dotted through the city and surrounds have been preserved and now we have the privilege of wandering through them. Not only are there numerous cathedrals and churches but you can also see such icons as the Customs House, the Polo Club, the Masonic Temple and the Treasury, just to name a few.
This year the event is running for two days, making it easier to see more of the buildings and giving you the option to come on one or both days.
Go here for a list of the 71 buildings. To see some you will have to book tours as they are very popular and fill up fast. There is even a suggested itinerary list which holds 13 Places of Worship and 14 Green Buildings. Last year OneOneOne Eagle Street was a huge crowd pleaser and the tours booked up rather quickly.
There are 24 Heritage Buildings, including the MacArthur Museum, the old windmill where you can actually go up inside if you book, Customs House and the City Hall. Then adding to the mix is Special Spaces where you can tour the Roma Street Fire Station. Transparent Labs is the last category where amongst the mix is the QUT Science and Engineering Centre.
The National Trust of Queensland Office, located at 95 William Street, sells copies of a $5.00 booklet to carry that pinpoints all the buildings on the maps enclosed. They are open Monday to Friday between the hours of 10:00am - 2:00pm so you can pick one up.
There is a photo contest every year so carry your camera with you and see what kind of shots you can get. Bear in mind that some buildings don't allow photos. Why not bring the kids along and show them some of Brisbane's history and future at the same time?