Sydney Open 2017

5. Taking in Sydney Harbour view from Ernst & Young Building (c) James Horan.jpg

Discover inspiring architecture, from skyscrapers to studios, at this weekend's Sydney Open

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Sydney Open 2017 is catnip to architecture fans, throwing open the doors to more than 60 of the city's most inspiring spaces this weekend (4-5 November 2017). Much-loved heritage edifices and cutting-edge, future-forward buildings are in the mix at this annual event, run by Sydney Living Museums, so get out and about...

TOP: Taking in views of Sydney Harbour from George Street's EY Centre
ABOVE: Popular must-sees include the curvy cool Abercrombie Building at The University of Sydney, with its dramatic spiral staircase; Seidler's 50-storey concrete Australia Square building, set in an open but contained plaza; and the futuristic interior of the Reserve Bank of Australia, including a grand double-height lobby with granite-faced columns and a ceiling of gold-anodised aluminium

Go behind the scenes with expert-led Focus Tours on Saturday 4 November, featuring more in-demand destinations. Popular tours such as the St James Station Tunnels sell out early, but you can still bag a spot to explore Carriageworks railway yards-turned-contemporary arts centre with architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.

The real action kicks off on Sunday 5 November, with self-guided access to around 45 buildings around town, from the CBD to Central, Redfern and Eveleigh. There are 13 new attractions for 2017, including the Abercrombie Building at The University of Sydney by Woods Bagot and Dexus Place and The Terrace at One Farrer by Girvan Waugh. You can also see some of the most inspiring recent buildings, including 2016's curvy gold-and-timber workplace skyscraper the EY Centre by FJMT, as well as iconic designs such as the 1964 Reserve Bank of Australia (inspired by the International Style and built by the Commonwealth Department of Works) and Harry Seidler's art-wrapped, inclusive Australia Square complex, completed in 1967.

9. Ground floor exterior EY Building (c) James Horan.jpg

ABOVE: The entry to 2016's EY Centre by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT), two overlapping rounded towers with graphic timber blinds on the glass facade, granite floors at street level and an eye-catching indigenous artwork in the main lobby

Architects studios will welcome design hunters too, including Candalepas Associates, DKO Architecture at Old Redfern Post Office, Grimshaw, JPW Studio (within Harry Seidler & Associates' Plaza Building at Australia Square), PTW Architects in Aurora Place, and Unispace (on Level 43 of Grosvenor Place).

It pays to plan your itinerary ahead of time, shortlisting favourite buildings and charting the most energy-effective routes (you can download an app and map from the website). Ideally book tickets in advance online (a limited number can be picked up on the day), and wear your Sydney Open wristband for quick access. You can keep track of the event's social media to avoid queues at hot spots (@sydneyisopen on Instagram and Twitter, @sydlivmus on Facebook, #sydneyisopen). Share your best pics for a chance to win design-led prizes. A series of free drop-in talks and tours should also earn a place on your Sunday schedule, and there are a few tempting food and drink stops for refuelling.

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopen
Sydney Open 2017 takes places across town from 4-5 November 2017; see website for visitor information and ticket passes. Basic entry is $49 for an adult Sydney Open Pass for Sunday 5 November, including access to more than 40 buildings; Member and VIP passes offer special extras. Most buildings are open 10am to 4pm on Sunday, but see website for specific venue hours.

Pictures: James Horan, Brett Boardman Photography, Peter Tabor