Open House Melbourne program revealed for 2024

Transforming ANZ’s Gothic Chamber into a 21st-Century Banking Museum The program for this year’s Open House Melbourne Weekend has been unveiled with over 170 unique experiences. From private homes to forested water treatment plants and beloved sporting facilities there is something for everyone to re/discover.

Over one weekend in winter (27 + 28 July) audiences are invited to re/discover their city and explore some of Melbourne’s most fascinating buildings, places and spaces not normally open to the general public.

The Open House Melbourne Weekend is the country’s largest architecture and built environment festival, celebrating the importance of good design in shaping our communities. Over 60,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event and explore unique and intriguing spaces in every corner of the city and suburbs of Melbourne.

New and notable to this year’s program include: a private home by renowned Architect Robin Boyd that has never been open to the public, forest land art by Agnes Denes at a water treatment facility not open to the public, and a CBD tour to better empathise with people experiencing homelessness.

Montsalvat Arts CentreThere is also a walk on the hallowed pitch of a city sports stadium, behind the scenes tours of Melbourne’s foremost medical research facilities, Australia’s oldest continuously operating artist collective, historic cemeteries, two former explosive storage facilities and ten modern and historical private homes open to the public.

Open House Melbourne’s Executive Director and Chief Curator, Dr Tania Davidge explained this year’s theme, RE/DISCOVER your City hopes to encourage Victorians to see Melbourne in a new light.

“Open House Melbourne Weekend is a chance for the curious at heart and lovers of architecture to discover new places and spaces in their city, to re-examine what they have perhaps overlooked and reconnect with beloved favourites,” said Davidge.

“This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Victorian Heritage Register; an important milestone for the many significant places and objects protected by the Register, many of which are in this year’s program.”

“Open House Melbourne’s 2024 program of events, talks and tours underscore the importance of good design in shaping our community, with some of the country’s most celebrated designers and architects, photographers and artists generously sharing their knowledge,” said Davidge.

172 treasured, varied and unique buildings are part of the 2024 program including new and returning favourites like the Essendon Incinerator, Carlton’s iconic Cairo Flats, the new Whitehorse Performing Arts Centre – The Round, recently renovated Koorie Heritage Trust, Willsmere (formerly Kew Asylum), Truganina Explosives Reserve, Mount Burnett Observatory, Hawthorn Tram Depot and the Former Williamstown Morgue.

OHM Hello HouseHighlights from this Year’s Open House Melbourne Program:

Open House Melbourne’s 2024 program includes the premiere of the tenth episode of Modern Melbourne celebrating the venerated career of recent AIA Gold Medal recipient and Victorian architect, Maggie Edmond; this year’s Heritage Address given by one of Australia’s most revered photographers, John Gollings; Designing with Country – a panel in collaboration with Yulendj Weelam Design Research Lab from RMIT’s School of Architecture and Urban Design discussing First Nations identity and placemaking within our built environments, and This is Public: RE/DISCOVER your City, this year’s keynote reflecting on the buildings, places and spaces that make Melbourne special.

This year’s program features ten modern and historical private homes open to the public, with tours conducted by their occupants and designers. Many homes are previous winners of the country’s foremost design awards and represent some of the city’s most unique, innovative and architecturally significant homes. Notable amongst them is Wildwood House by celebrated designer, Robin Boyd – a private home that has not been open to the public before.

Open House Melbourne is also a chance to see previously unseen historical objects that will be on display, especially for the weekend. These include a rare violin signed by the prisoners of war encamped at Changi at a new exhibit from Legacy House and guided tours of ANZ’s Gothic Bank, including the recently opened banking museum and the Verdon Chambers – ten rooms featuring valuable, immaculately preserved artworks and ornate features not usually open to the public. There are 27 individual exhibitions to discover.

The program features multiple tours that enable people to look at the city from a different perspective and build an understanding of other people’s lived experiences. Eye Open Ride: Stories from the Streets invites people to understand Melbourne from the viewpoint of rough sleepers. This new guided scooter tour of the CBD with caseworkers from Launch Housing gives first-hand perspectives from the people working with those experiencing homelessness.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) photo by John GollingsEx-City Designer for the City of Melbourne, Rob Adams AM, will conduct a walking tour of the city showing the key initiatives since the 1980s that have transformed Melbourne into one of the world’s most liveable and sustainable cities.

An Open House first, five of Melbourne’s foremost Sports institutions join the program including the newly renovated AAMI Park where you can step onto the pitch like the Matildas, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (home of the sailing events in the 1956 Olympics) and the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Go behind the scenes of Victoria’s cutting-edge health facilities like the establishment at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (celebrating their 75th Anniversary) and youth mental health service, Orygen Poplar Road Precinct.

Ten places of worship feature in Open House Melbourne this year, including the Gospel Hall Melbourne (new to this year’s program), a church in Chinatown built over 150 years ago in the Gold Rush Era by the Chinese Evangelical community and the LGBTIQA+ inclusive St Michael’s Uniting Church on Collins St.

For lovers of art, the collection space at ArtBank featuring over 14,000 artworks will open its door to the public; walk across the rooftops of Collingwood Yards for uninterrupted views across the city; tour the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and experience The Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation, a tour of the largest cultural infrastructure project in Australia’s history that is currently underway.

Open House Melbourne takes place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July 2024. Attendees are encouraged to plan their weekend as the most coveted experiences book out in advance. Tickets released on 3 July and 6 July 2024. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Images: Transforming ANZ’s Gothic Chamber into a 21st-Century Banking Museum (supplied) | Montsalvat Arts Centre (supplied) | Hello House (supplied) | Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) – photo by John Gollings