We went into Melbourne city yesterday for Melbourne Open House. Fed Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, CH2, Regent Theatre and more, opened up rooms/buildings generally not accessible to the hoi polloi.

They, whoever ‘they’ are, underestimated the interest and queues for some buildings were hours long. We only stood in one queue, to see CH2 – a ‘green’ office block partially designed and occupied by Melbourne City Council. Tower showers, passive cooling, rolling concrete ceilings, vertical shade panels that move with the sun. Just a few of the innovations in this building which boasts decreased sick days and other people benefits. They also are a net provider of water into the ‘system’ – taking black water and producing drinking quality water which is used in cooling systems, toilets and sent to other buildings for toilets and the like. Quite staggering really what’s possible. And the roof top garden was a tranquil place with great views.

The Regent Theatre basement ballroom was a sight to behold. Part village square, part theatre, part ballroom. Art deco and more. I’ve included a few photos from this amazing room, because to describe it would be to miss something…

a column of masks and shields

roof detail

…tucked into a corner this…umm…

wall lighting

Apparently, before renovations, this room was for a time an accidental swimming pool, part filled with water from the leaking water feature in the neighbouring City Square.