Melbourne Architours began in 2012 with humble beginnings. What started as a custom tour for two people, has now grown into a well established, but still very local, architectural tour of Melbourne. A year on, and the Architours team are looking at expansion to allow greater capacity for services and diversify tour options.
Shelley Freeman, Architect and Architours team member, says "It's now one of the ways I practice architecture. I love the research, the conversation, discussion and how being ‘out there’ means I'm meeting all kinds of people." Other team members just as passionate about Melbourne's design and architecture include Esther Sugihto, Mark Skiba and Andy Fergus. They have all come together to promote a critical analysis of the built environment (with a caffeine pitstop or beer thrown in for good measure).
It's a great initiative, important even, with growing demand delivering collaborations with large organisations such as the National Trust, the State Library of Victoria and Tourism Victoria. Andy Fergus says "We hope to impact the thinking of the public with respect to the built environment, educating at a grass roots level to influence community participation in urban governance processes."
This commitment to debate has been one of Architours strengths. As the team looks forward, the future is looking bright for Architours with big plans on the horizon. "We're always thinking of new ways to broadcast, from social media channels, to writing a grant application for a smartphone augmented reality app, to the #archilearning hashtag on Instagram, to conducting interstate/overseas architours, to slideshow presentations for the elderly who cannot walk for 90 minutes - options are endless!" says Esther Sugihto.
Here at TC we're looking forward to seeing Architours grow bigger but still retain their grass roots feel. Visit and book yourself a spot on the Melbourne Architours here.