Open Christchurch is a one-weekend-only festival of exceptional architecture. It’s for everyone in Ōtautahi Christchurch and visitors to our city. Over 15 & 16 May 2021 building owners/kaitiaki will literally open their doors so you can experience great design from the inside, for free.

Uncover new spaces or get up close to the buildings you love. With over 40 buildings to choose from, you’ll discover your city in a new way. View the full program at

The Chemistry Building, Collins & Harman, 1910

The Chemistry Building in the Arts Centre, which is home to the UC Teece Museum, will be open both days of the festival from 10am-3pm. Visitors will be able to access the foyer and museum only.

As you approach the Chemistry Building, take in the turreted tower, oriel or bay window and decorative roof ridging – these signal the importance the sciences had gained by the time this was built. Soon after, chemistry became the largest university department and included labs, a lecture room, prep room and a basement for storing chemicals  – and for the occasional winter game of cricket. The roof’s steep pitch provides a loftiness to be equalled by student aspirations; the building’s materials showcase the regional quarry industry.

In 2017 the University of Canterbury opened the UC Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in the building, which sits alongside the Department of Classics and School of Music.