It’s been an unfortunate coincidence that the inaugural Open House Melbourne event coincided with the launch of my progeny – two children not attuned to waiting, listening and historic architecture.
This year I was determined to make it to a handful of the 100 spaces open to the public and so armed with a toddler and a Bubble O Bill promise, I braced myself for the ensuing chaos.
Sometimes you just know they’re going to be on their worst behaviour but then sometimes they surprise you by behaving – only stopping to let out the odd excruciatingly loud burp while a tour guide talks or fall off yet another random Melbourne sculpture just lying around.
I’ve always been fascinated with ‘Council House 2′ or CH2 – the first office building in Australia to be awarded with a Six Green Star energy rating. Occupied by the City of Melbourne council it was the first of its kind to be granted such a high energy rating and according to our tour guide from Urban Planning, saves approximately $2 million dollars per year. The views from the roof garden are pretty special and I would have stayed to enjoy it, if it were not for Veruca Salt demanding his ice-cream.
From there we checked out the new Hamer Hall.
Closer to home was the St Kilda Esplanade Vaults. Built in 1891, they originally housed ice-cream and waffle vendors and were designed to support the upper tram tracks.
Open House Melbourne is a not-for-profit association that opens the doors to buildings all over Melbourne for one weekend each year. It’s a free event and such a fantastic way to learn more about our City and its wonderful architecture.
Did you manage to check out any of the buildings? Does your city run a similar program?