Treatment plant to be open to the public

A view from the Agnes Denes Forrest. (Supplied)

For more than 20 years, a massive land art project at the Altona Treatment Plant has been closed to the public but those people who have ever wondered what it looks like will have the chance to take a peak.

In 1998, New York-based environmental artist Agnes Denes created A Forest for Australia at Greater Western Water’s Altona Treatment Plant and it has not been accessible to the public ever since.

The land art, spanning eight acres, uses 3,700 native trees to create five circular spirals.

The forest sculpture remained inaccessible to the public and had fallen into serious disrepair with many of the trees unfortunately dying as whilst they were native to Australia, they were not native to the region.

The treatment plant had a dilemma with parts of the artistic community called for it to be saved whilst others felt the artwork should be able to naturally decay.

The work was significantly updated in 2015 and will be open to the public on July 27 and 28 as part of Open House Melbourne.

The tour of the artwork will also include a tour of the treatment plant not normally open to the public.

The Open House Melbourne weekend is the country’s largest architecture and built environment festival, celebrating the importance of good design in shaping communities.

More than 60,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event and explore unique and intriguing spaces in every corner of the city and suburbs of Melbourne.

Open House Melbourne’s executive director and chief curator Dr Tania Davidge explained this year’s theme, ‘RE/DISCOVER your City’ hopes to encourage Victorians to see Melbourne in a new light.

“Open House Melbourne Weekend is a chance for the curious at heart and lovers of architecture to discover new places and spaces in their city, to re-examine what they have perhaps overlooked and reconnect with beloved favourites. This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Victorian Heritage Register; an important milestone for the many significant places and objects protected by the Register, many of which are in this year’s program,” she said.

The former Williamstown Morgue, Alton Homestead, Footscray Heritage Theatre Tour, Footscray Park, Jacks Magazine and Williamstown Hall are also part of this year’s Open Melbourne.