Sydney Opera House - 'Housemates'

In March 2011, Sydney Opera House began the largest construction project since it was opened in 1973. It turned one of its busiest areas, The Forecourt, into a large-scale building site. We were asked to create an installation piece that engaged the community and turned the site hoardings into an inspirational and fascinating installation.

Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most famous ‘home’ so I came up with the idea to look for ‘Housemates’ to share the best house in Australia for the life of the hoardings. Working with the team at Moon we set about recruiting people via real estate-style ads on property and flatmate-finding sites. We also created a street campaign using the style of ‘Housemate Wanted’ type ads - fliers posted on telegraph poles and distributed in local cafés. They all advertised this prime waterfront address for zero dollars a week.

Interested parties were directed to a custom Facebook application that looked very much like a rental application form. Once there they could apply to become one of our Housemates. All they had to do was upload a photo of themselves, along with a testimonial devoted to The House.

After a six week campaign our Housemates 'moved in’ - over 88 panels were plastered on the hoardings on the Forecourt of Sydney Opera House. They lived there until their ‘lease’ expired in early 2012.

 The giant Housemates wall made the most of the construction site, and created an interactive and inclusive talking point on the forecourt of Sydney Opera House. Around 32,000 people clicked on the ‘Housemates Wanted’ Facebook Ad and we had 1,200 people apply to become Housemates. The Sydney Opera House gained over 4,000 new Facebook fans, and the campaign received PR coverage in local, national and trade press (online and offline).

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