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The Essendon Incinerator

Architect: Walter Burley Griffin

West | W04

The Essendon Incinerator – now The Incinerator Gallery – is a Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin industrial building that opened in 1929. Its innovative design was seen as a solution to the environmental and technological problems facing Melbourne communities in the late 1920s. Over its 88-year history, it has become a significant building in the story of Modernism in Australia. Burley Griffin’s office built 13 incinerators across Australia between 1929 and 1938 (including the Pyrmont Incinerator in 1935) and designed many more – only six of these buildings remain today. The Essendon Incinerator is the only example in Victoria and the only incinerator that still has most of its engineering extant. During Open House Melbourne there will be guided tours of the building and talks about the history of the site. Visitors can learn the unlikely story of how a Russian investor, an Australian engineer, and an American architect came together with the people of Essendon to make their city a cleaner and healthier place to live. This is a social and architectural history that is as relevant today as it was in 1929. The building is also open for self-guided tours and visitors have the opportunity to view the exhibitions of contemporary Australian art in the exhibition spaces.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10am-4pm

  • What's Open: All parts of the building

  • Tour Type: W04

  • Tour Details: Tours at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, running for 45minutes, in groups of40

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available

  • Special Programming: There is a free talk that goes with each tour. The gallery spaces will be open to view exhibitions of contemporary Australian art.

  • Year Built: 1930

  • Transport: Bus stop: Holmes Rd on route 468.


180 Holmes Rd, Moonee Ponds 3039, VIC


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