We are delighted to announce that St Michael’s Grammar School has been invited to take part in Open House Melbourne, a cultural festival dedicated to architecture and design on 29 July 2018. Open House facilitates opportunities to directly experience how well-designed cities can improve the lives of their inhabitants, by opening examples of architectural excellence to the public.

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Open House Weekend in Melbourne sees tens of thousands of people come out to celebrate architecture and the city. By empowering people with knowledge around the impact of good design decisions in our built environment, Open House aims to ensure Victoria — and its capital city — remains among the most liveable cities in the world, now and in the future.

On Sunday 29 July 2018, between 10.00 and 4.00pm, the School will be opening three of our significant buildings to the public as part of the festival: St George’s Church, Hewison House and The Gipson Commons.

We look forward to welcoming the community into St Michael’s, and have arranged a number of musical performances, guest speakers and activities to make the day interactive for all.


St George’s Church

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St George’s Church was originally leased and furnished as a gym, weights room and outdoor education store by the School in 1987. Today, St George’s is a key part of our Performing Arts Centre, the perfect atmosphere and acoustics for our students to make the most of their drama and music classes, rehearsals and performances. A brick Presbyterian Church of 1877–1880 by the architect Albert Purchas, included in its heritage classification is the T C Lewis organ of 1881, which is in perfect harmony with its architectural setting and is one of only five Lewis organs exported to Australia.

Open: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Tours: Self-guided tours from 10.00am to 4.00pm

Student performance: Live Choral performance by St Michael’s students at 11.00am

Find out more at the Open House website here.


Hewison House

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For many, Hewison House is the first building they visit as they start their journey at St Michael’s. Hewison House is the location for the School’s main reception and administration offices and is named after former Headmaster, Mr Tony Hewison. Purchased by the School in 1986, the building was originally named ‘Rondebosch’. The two-storey villa was constructed in 1868 and is one of the best surviving examples of villas in Melbourne in the 19th century.

Open: 11.00am – 2.00pm

Tours: Guided tours at 11.00am, 11:30am and 12:00pm, running for 15 minutes, in groups of 6 (first in best dressed). Self-guided tours at other times.

Student performance: Live string quartet performance from the balcony of Hewison House by St Michael’s students at 12.30pm.

Talk: Hear from Christopher Elliott, Principal Designer at Christopher Elliott Design, about his inspiration for the refurbishment of the Reception spaces in Hewison House at 1.00pm. Christopher Elliott will reveal his thoughts on the design process, and the impact interior design can have on an individual or organisation.

Find out more at the Open House website here.

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The Gipson Commons

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The Gipson Commons, the School’s newest building, is a truly Kindergarten to Year 12 environment, where spaces for collaborative learning and personal reflection are central. The ‘spaces for possibilities’ metaphor was used to describe the brief to Architectus, who used the concept of a Balinese house in their design. Visually and acoustically screened pods provide an array of learning environments and opportunities – these are the possibilities.

Open: 10.00am – 4.00pm (Dolly’s Café serving coffee and food from 10.00am to 2.00pm)

Tours: Pre-booked guided tours lead by Architectus at 12pm and 2pm, running for 40 minutes in groups of 50. Tickets will be released on Friday 13 July at 8:30am until booked out, with a second release on Friday 20 July at 8:30am until booked out (small booking fee applies). Find tickets here. Self-guided tours at other times.

Student performance: Live jazz quartet performances by St Michael’s students at 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Activities: Face painting and balloons for children in Dolly’s Café (with thanks to the Parent Community Association and its generous team of volunteers).

Find out more at the Open House website here.

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We welcome all members of the St Michael’s Community to join us on the day to celebrate our remarkable buildings that form part of the history and character of our School and the St Kilda local area.

Full information and a program of events can be found at the Open House Melbourne website.