Open House Melbourne

It’s an unfortunate coincidence that the inaugural Open House Melbourne event coincided with the launch of my progeny – two children not attuned to waiting, listening or 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 carnage only to pleasantly surprised with a fuss-free day out.

We started 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 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?


  1. Elena says

    Yes, we’ve been for the last few years, and this year only managed Hamer Hall yesterday morning (we had the footy in the arvo), and today the radiotherapy bunkers at Peter Mac (which, surprisingly, the kids found very interesting). We really wanted to see ANZ bank but it was shut when we got there. We love this scheme and mainly use it to meet with extended family, have lunch, a coffee, shop, and explore the city streets – it’s great fun.

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