|By Bishop's See Gardens, Perth.|
Open House aims to give people a behind the scenes look at historical, architecturally significant and/or otherwise meaningful spaces. Mostly these spaces are buildings, but some are gardens or other types of architecture. This year, there were 65 sites open in Perth over 2 days. Clearly, you have to pick your priorities.
|ABC recording trucks ready to go.|
Our goal list included the Perth ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) building, Main Roads traffic operation centre, BHP Billiton building, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, and heritage listed Bishop's See gardens. In the end, we made it to three of these: the ABC building, BHP Billiton building, and gardens. The first two involved tours, whilst the last was a 'wander as you please' experience.
|Where Perth ABC journalists do their work.|
The ABC tour focused mostly on radio studios, as well as the large news room where journalists put stories together and prepare ahead of TV filming. It gave insight into what goes on behind what we see and hear and the amount of technology packed into the building was very impressive.
|The BHP Billiton building from afar |
(the one with the diagonal extension rising at the top).
|Views from BHP Billiton's 45th floor.|
We visited mostly for the views, which were great, but the interior ended up being just as interesting as the outside vistas. The 45th floor lunch room was quite amazing, with huge spaces and impressive kitchen gadgets for employees to use, all set against the view above. However, we learnt that it really needed to be amazing because the company has a 'no eating at your desk' policy, an extension of its broader 'clean desk' policy.
|Fancy a meeting here?|
In addition to the actual buildings, our visit into the city itself felt like an experience. We caught the train in, and utilised the free inner city buses for shuttling from one end of the city to the other. By 4pm, we were ready for refuelling and stopped for afternoon tea at Bocelli's Espresso. Do you have cafes in your own city that you have seen for years, and which always seem quite busy, but you've never actually eaten at? That was Bocelli's Espresso for me.
Mr Bite was seeking a cake and Coke, and ordered a generous slice of carrot cake for his food component. I later discovered that his real dream was chocolate mud cake, not available at Bocelli's, but he stoically got through most of the carrot cake regardless.
|We managed an impressive quota of drinks for 2 people.|
I was extremely thirsty, wanted a coffee, and also wanted food. Not having vegan afternoon tea options on offer (except for fruit toast off the breakfast menu, which I tend to use as a back up order for any time of day), I ended up with three drinks: a glass of water for my thirst, a soy cappuccino for the coffee component, and a dairy-free 'mango tango' smoothie for the food stand in. The smoothie included banana, orange juice, pineapple, passion fruit, and mango sorbet. It was sweeter than I am used to and more juice-like (i.e., less thick) but in conjunction with my other drinks it was more than sufficient to see me through the journey home.
In all, the day highlighted how nice it can be to play tourist in your own city, and I highly recommend Open House to you!
Have you visited / experienced Open House attractions yourself?