Open House Melbourne expands to Ballarat

Open House Simon ShiffBallarat’s best architecture and significant buildings are set to open for public viewing as the highly popular Open House Melbourne (OHM) extends its program of events to the region.

Presented by OHM in collaboration with City of Ballarat and Visit Ballarat, the two-day event will see a series of private contemporary houses, and architecturally significant commercial and civic buildings and landscapes open for viewing.

“The Open House experience will invite people to explore our outstanding locales, showcasing Ballarat’s rich history and reflecting how we live and work,” says City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh. “The weekend is a chance for people to challenge their opinion about architecture, build their knowledge about Ballarat, and be informed about future developments that will impact the city.”

This will be the first-time Open House Melbourne has partnered with a regional city, allowing locals and visitors alike to see inside buildings and spaces not normally open to the public.

“Not only is Open House an opportunity to celebrate the city’s rich history, it’s also an opportunity to consider how design will positively shape the future of Ballarat,” says Open House Melbourne Executive Director Emma Telfer. “By visiting significant heritage buildings and sites that illustrate new architecture across the city, people learn about how the built environment and urban planning initiatives influence our culture and shape our future.”

The Open House model, first started in London 25 years ago, 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.

“Open House is held in extremely high regard across the architecture and design industries, drawing a loyal following from experts to enthusiasts,” says Visit Ballarat Chair, Sarah Beaumont. “Ballarat’s alignment with this event will showcase our heritage and architecture in a new, contemporary light. It’s a game-changing event and has the potential to reposition the way our city is viewed from here on.”

Open House Ballarat will be held on 28 & 29 October to coincide with the 2017 Season of the Arts campaign, headlined by arts and cultural events including the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the Ballarat Cabaret Festival, and the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s Romancing the Skull exhibition. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Open House Melbourne 2017 – photo by Simon Shiff