Open House - Incinerator a hot ticket

Incinerator Gallery to open its doors during Open House


Domestic travel
DISTINCTIVE: The old Essendon Incinerator building - now the Incinerator Gallery, will offer guided tours and walk-throughs during Open House Melbourne this month.

DISTINCTIVE: The old Essendon Incinerator building - now the Incinerator Gallery, will offer guided tours and walk-throughs during Open House Melbourne this month.

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The Essendon Incinerator was only one of 13 of its kind built in Australia.

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OPEN House Melbourne will give guests the opportunity to explore one of Essendon's most impressive buildings this month.

The Incinerator Gallery will open its doors for guided tours and walk-throughs on July 27 and 28.

Formerly known as the Essendon Incinerator - the building, which was constructed from 1929-30, was designed by the office of Walter Burley Griffin.

It is known for its innovative design and was the solution to Melbourne's problem of a shortage of waste facilities prior to WWII.

Incinerator Gallery team leader Richard Ennis said the building was a reverberatory incinerator - a type of incinerator invented by John Boadle.

Reverberatory incinerators burned waste at such a high temperature they left no visible signs of smoke.

They also incorporated a draft system which pulled air out from underneath the rubbish and directly into the incinerator to eliminate wafting smells.

WINDING BACK THE CLOCK: The Incinerator solved Melbourne's waste problem from its construction was completed in 1930 until the early 1940s.

WINDING BACK THE CLOCK: The Incinerator solved Melbourne's waste problem from its construction was completed in 1930 until the early 1940s.

The incinerator was one of 13 of its kind built in Australia, with only six remaining today.

Richard said the necessity for the incinerators arose because the city was expanding, meaning rubbish dumps that had once been on the outskirts of town were now in the centre of it.

While there was need for a new means of disposing waste, people in the area were reluctant to embrace an incinerator in the area, which led to the building's unusual, aesthetically appealing design.

The building, which featured three incinerator units, was distinctive due to its 8 metre chimney and asymmetrical terracotta tiled roof.

"The people who lived next door didn't want an industrial building," Richard said.

"The genius of the building lies in the fact it fits in with its surroundings."

"Ultimately, it is an industrial, functional building built in a very sensitive way so it fit in with the surroundings and environment."

Visitors will also have the chance to explore Ode to Marion - an exhibition which pays homage to the often overlooked legacy of Marion Mahony Griffin and the building's new permanent historical display..

The exhibition features work by a number of talented female artists including Tracey Lamb, Noriko Nakamura, Yuria Okamura, Melanie Jayne Taylor, Meredith Turnbull and Esther Stewart with Emily Cormack.

There will be an artist talk at 2pm on July 27, while the historical display will be officially opened at 2pm on July 28.

For more information, click here.

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