Melbourne Open House: The 2014 Challenge

If you haven’t heard about the Open House Melbourne event happening this weekend, then you might be about to miss one of the most prestigious annual events.

Open House Melbourne opens up 100 or so buildings (136 this year) every year to the public. This gives the general public a never before seen access to some of these sites that are usually locked away from daily life. Some buildings have become so popular that they’ve had to put in a ballot system which always get inundated with thousands of entries and only a handful of them get in. But oh, to those that get this once in a lifetime access, I can only give you my envy and hat tip. If you are one of these lucky people, then go ahead and post the pictures up. Some people will never get the chance to go and hey, it’s good to share, right? I won’t lie, the sting of rejection does hurt, but if you just stopped at the first rejection you wouldn’t go far. So, ballot, I shall see you next year.

This year the building list is a little different with a few no longer being available due to maintenance or other reasons, but in it’s place there are quite a few other places that have opened up! If there is one thing I have learned from the last 2 years of attempting this, is to go in with a fluid plan. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I only have a set time on Saturday to complete my audacious plan. As such, I’ve come up with a plan on how to come up with a list.

My Logic
– Create your wildly big wish list. (Anything and everything goes)
– Apply for the ballots. (Most of the major ones).
– Reality hits. (Sucks to be on the rejection end, but that means more time for the other amazing sites).
– Are there buildings that have open, self-guided tours or are they guided? If they are guided, what are the numbers allowed per tour and frequency of the tours?
– Do they allow photography?
– What are the other must see items on my list? If I can’t make it to them, how close are other buildings that I could quickly duck into?
– And should I miss out on these, do these places allow you to do self guided or guided tours on their own (and free, if possible)?

Not quite a complex logic set, but there is a sense of logical deduction in there. So what does this all mean? Well here is the list I’m following.

2014 Wish list
– Artplay
Coop’s Shot Tower and Museum
The Melbourne Athaneum
Myer Mural Hall
– RMIT Building 113 – Capitol Theatre
– RMIT Building 80
– Swanston Academic Building
Scot’s Church and Assembly Hall
– St. Patrick’s Cathedral
State Library of Victoria – Queens Hall
State Library – LA trobe Reading room
Young and Jackson Hotel
– Library at the Dock [Missed]
– The Hotel Windsor [Completed in 2013]

Decided to do on the day
Melbourne Town Hall
Young and Jackson Hotel

I’ll be doing a lap and just progressing along the way with any of the other sites in case I miss out on any or if they have way too many people waiting to see the place. Even with this list, I have a subset that I can’t miss and will gladly sacrifice other buildings to ensure I get the opportunity to visit them.

Perhaps I’ll bump into you along the way and if you see an enthusiastic photographer crazily taking notes – yup, that’s me – so feel free to say hi! Catch you on the weekend!

6 thoughts on “Melbourne Open House: The 2014 Challenge

  1. Great advice, I’m planning my itinerary (wish list, let’s be honest, these things never go to plan!) for my first time visit, so might see you there! Can’t wait to see your pictures 🙂


    • Don’t forget to bring snacks, walking shoes and lots of water. As always, come dressed for Melbourne’s unpredictable weather.

      Hope to see you there too. If you see a guy with a white book, blue pen and red camera case – that’s me!


      • Haha don’t worry, I’m a Melbourne girl who spends a lot of weekends walking aimless hours around the laneways so I’ll be ready for everything! And I’m italian so snacks are a given 😉 I’ll look out for you if I get there on Saturday otherwise I’ll see your photos soon!!


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