Open House Melbourne is a celebration of Melbourne through design and architecture. It’s an annual free event in which over 100 buildings are open to the public.
Some of these such as the State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Town Hall are open to the public year round, but they may open special areas that are not normally accessible. Some places such as the substations are only open to the general public during Open House Melbourne and there are some exclusive areas such as the Manchester Unity Building and the Federation Square ballroom that only a few lucky ballot winners get to see.
With over 100 buildings all over Melbourne open, the hard part is trying to figure out where to go. There’s a website that lists the all the buildings, opening times, special requirements, and if queues are expected. It allows you to craft an itinerary and access it on the mobile app.
Theo and I went last year and visited about six buildings. It may not sound like much, but consider travel time, queues, touring the site, taking photographs, pausing for lunch, etc. Time flies. One building we really wanted to see last year was the Russell Place Substation, but we gave up because the queue was so long. This year, we decided we’d try the J Substation and arrive an hour early. That paid off. We were first in line and a long queue quickly formed. The other site we wanted to visit was the Royal Melbourne Hospital tunnels. There was no queue for that. With those two out of the way, we just wandered about and walked into whatever was open, including the the Supreme Court of Victoria.