Open House Melbourne is an independent not-for-profit organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in conversations about the future of our cities.

We do this through the much-loved Open House Weekend—both in Melbourne and regionally—where tens of thousands of people come out to celebrate architecture and the city. We tackle big city topics through public talks, tours, and events. By empowering people with knowledge around the impact of good design decisions in our built environment, we aim to ensure Victoria—and its capital city—remains a liveable and vibrant place now and into the future.

Open House Melbourne is registered as a charity (as Melbourne Open House Inc) with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 68295482310. The organisation is part of the Open House Worldwide Network, connecting Open House’s in 60 cities around the world. The success of the Open House Weekend is due to its approach of offering diverse, direct design experiences, in an accessible and non-elitist manner.

Open House Melbourne History

Open House Melbourne was founded by eight professionals under the aegis of the Committee for Melbourne’s 2008 Future Focus Group (FFG) leadership program. As the first event of its kind in Australia, the inaugural Melbourne Open House (its original title) in 2008 and the 2009 event were delivered under the FFG program.

Open House Melbourne became an independent entity in 2009 as an incorporated, not-for-profit association. Open House Melbourne is a self-sustaining, built environment focused public education organisation, and in 2011, continued its leadership role in this sector by becoming the first Southern Hemisphere member city to join the global network of Open House Worldwide.

Open House Worldwide

The Open House concept facilitates opportunities for a city’s inhabitants to directly experience how well-designed cities can improve their lives, by opening examples of architectural excellence to the public. These experiences stimulate dialogue about architecture and learning, which empowers people to advocate for a well-designed built environment.

The concept resonated with cities internationally and the organic growth of independent Open House cities led to the creation of the Open House Worldwide network of affiliated cities in 2010, which has grown to more than 60 cities across five continents. Annually, it reaches over 750,000 people worldwide—the largest audience of any public-facing architecture program.

The concept is simple, but powerful; facilitating direct experience of architectural excellence, in an accessible and non-elitist manner as part of a process of catalysing design advocacy. The Open House approach is independent, apolitical, inclusive, and accessible. Open House is a worldwide phenomenon with common values, but each city operates at a local level–a feature that is critical to its success due to the particularities of each local environment.