Open House Melbourne has been running since 2008, and is a fabulous opportunity to get inside some of Melbourne’s iconic buildings.
While you can’t always take the best architectural photographs of the interiors, some of the views are worth the effort alone. As always there is very wide range of buildings on offer from the NAB centre in Docklands – just next to Southern Cross Station, to some of Melbourne’s earliest churches.
With Open House Melbourne it’s always a good idea to be prepared to line up. Some of the more popular venues such as the electrical sub-station in Russell Street are always busy, while others places are great for sitting and relaxing for a little while. This year they seem to have added a twitter system that will inform you of whether there are queues or not.
There wasn’t a ballot this year, but an open booking system. This seems to be fully booked for the particular venues, so check if this is the case before standing in a line for ages.
The long time favourites are there such as Orica House and the Royal College of Surgeons, plus a lot of new faces. Not all the venues are in the city. They are as diverse as the Melbourne General Cemetery to Como House in South Yarra and beyond.
Although the weather doesn’t look to promising, in all the years I’ve been going I’ve only got really wet once, and that was walking from the fairly isolated Mission to Sea Farers in Flinders Street up to Channel 9. Rug up with a good coat, hat, and umbrella!
The best camera to take
As to camera gear. Although you will spot a lot of people with a full high-end SLR kit, this is really where the mirror-less systems come in handy. It can be a long day walking the streets, lining up, and squeezing into lifts.
One last bit of advice. Look up. Some of Melbourne’s most beautiful architecture is not at street level. It’s on the first floor and above. And don’t forget to be friendly to the people running the event. They are all volunteers. So enjoy Saturday and Sunday at Open House Melbourne.