Open House Melbourne has announced the launch of the program ‘What’s the Beef with Brutalism?’ organised in partnership with Heritage Council of Victoria and Assemble Papers to explore and discuss the challenges faced by post-war buildings in a rapidly developing city.

Paying homage to ‘Brutalism’, one of the most challenging architectural styles that exists today, Open House Melbourne will organise screenings, talks and tours throughout the month of May to explore the social significance of the style. The program encourages the city’s residents to stop and think about the type of city they want in the future, especially one that celebrates diversity, heritage, good design and smart development, and the need to celebrate and protect Melbourne’s wonderful brutalist buildings.

Heritage Council of Victoria Chair Professor Stuart Macintryre AO said the program will help people appreciate the best of Brutalism, which, along with other modern styles, has added many significant buildings to Melbourne and is important in the evolution of the city’s built heritage.

In addition to the May program, ‘What’s the Beef with Brutalism?’ will continue throughout the Open House Melbourne Weekend, which takes place this year on 30 and 31 July, with close to 150 buildings across the wider metropolitan Melbourne set to open their doors, and a Brutalist Love Fest film night to take place on 27 July with DADo film society, part of the Robin Boyd Foundation.

Program highlights of ‘What’s the Beef with brutalism?’

Film Screening: Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness: Concrete Poetry

Presented by Heritage Council of Victoria and Open House Melbourne; ACMI 6.30pm – 9pm Thursday 12 May

A BBC FOUR two-part documentary in which Jonathan Meades makes the case for 20th century concrete Brutalist architecture in homage to a style that he sees as brave, bold and bloody-minded. The screening will begin with a conversation between special guests who will discuss Melbourne’s brutalist architecture.

Brutalist Block Party

Presented by Assemble Papers and Open House Melbourne; 122 Roseneath St, Clifton Hill

Brutalist Block Party is a May-long program of talks, workshops, lunches, dinners, social situations and a weekly produce market, presented by Assemble Papers and Open House Melbourne in a vast concrete-fronted warehouse in Clifton Hill.

Talks include: Utopia/Dystopia: Brutalism in film by Jonathan Meades on Wednesday 18 May 6.30pm; and New, New Brutalism: architecture for the people on Wednesday 25 May 6.30pm.

Entry is free for both events.

The full program of ‘What’s the Beef with Brutalism?’ can be accessed online on the Open House Melbourne website.

Image: Harold Holt Swim Centre, courtesy of Heritage Council of Victoria. Photographer: Hin Lim.