Program Revealed for Open House Melbourne Weekend 2023

OHM-Bunjil-Place-Main-Entrance-from-Bunjil-Square-photo-by-John-GollingsThe Open House Melbourne (OHM) Program has been announced, with an exciting program of almost 200 buildings, tours, cultural events, design talks and family friendly experiences for every Melburnian. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend the weekend when the city’s most intriguing venues open their doors on 29 & 30 July 2023.

The 2023 program offers unique experiences across metropolitan Melbourne for families, long-time residents, students, and lovers of architecture and good design, including Making Home – an inspiring talk and tour series exploring the best of Victoria’s social and affordable housing; a sneak peek at the soon-to-be open Holocaust Museum; a film celebrating the career of venerated Melbourne Architect, Kerstin Thompson; 16 modern and historical Melbourne homes open to the public for tours.

Open House Melbourne invites you to discover your city and explore spaces not typically open to the public. Open House Melbourne’s Executive Director and Chief Curator, Tania Davidge explained the importance of this year’s theme, Collective City in the context of the current climate of economic and housing uncertainty, and how it informed this year’s program.

“As Melbourne expands to reach a projected population of 8 million by 2050, our theme for Open House Melbourne 2023, Collective City seeks to explore how will we reinvent, re-purpose and adapt our city to live better together now, and into the future,” said Ms Davidge.

“We want to inspire every Victorian through the Open House Melbourne Weekend to consider the principles of good design so together we can advocate for a more equitable and welcoming city that meets the needs of all Melburnians.”

“Our program for 2023 reflects our desire for all to come to a shared understanding of the best way to shape the future of the city,” said Ms Davidge.

Program Highlights for Open House Melbourne 2023:

Making Home is OHM perennial series that explores social and affordable housing and how we can make it better. This year’s program features a series of four panel discussions and tours around community-forward social housing that supports and prioritises residents’ insights and benefits.

Highlight panels include Making Home: It takes a Village a look at the role of developers in the provision of social housing; Building Community will look at how we build community around social and affordable housing with tours of new communities like Markham Avenue – one of the first projects designed and delivered under Homes Victoria’s Big Housing Build – a major investment in social housing across the state.

Tour of the Holocaust Museum’s soon-to-be completed interior with KTA Associate Principal Claire Humphreys; tour of the new Preston Tram Depot and the serene Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral, Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Melbourne.

Post-pandemic, Private home tours return with gusto to the Open House Melbourne program with many more doors to historical, sustainable and stylish contemporary open across Melbourne. Some highlights of private homes opening for visitor this year are: the Lippincott House, a two-storey house co-designed by famed Canberra architect Water Burley Griffin; Gantry House, a modern cottage home to a creative multigenerational family of seven with a focus on sustainability and Blackburn North Passive House, a unique and sustainable renovation on a budget that preserves the homes original 1950 charm.

Designing With Country explores the role of plants beyond its existence in just gardens and nature by tapping into the expertise and ingenuity of Indigenous Australians to learn and lead us through current national landscape issues. Hear from the authors such as Yulendj Weelam Lab’s Dr Christine Phillips, Beau de Belle and Jock Gilbert as they discuss how plants and Indigenous wisdom can guide us through contemporary challenges in community and architecture.

Given each year on a new topic, this year’s Heritage Address by comedian, author and historian Michael Veitch will explore who we are as a city, what we can learn from looking back into history through wars, plagues and untold stories as our shared identity grow into a vibrant global city of 8 million. The address will be followed by a conversation with Heritage Council of Victoria’s Chair, Professor Phillip Goad.

Open House Melbourne offers experiences for all ages and interests and this year’s more unique activities include: Footscray Market food tours, led by local foodie Joyce Watts, a 45-minute guided tour of taste and indulgence into the market’s rich history and distinctively culturally diverse culinary adventure; Ping Pong Wow @ Artplay, an immersive activity for kids, families, adults that captivates with 2,000 ping pong balls; Plant Swap – an exhibition for gardening communities of all sizes and scales at The Emely Baker Centre with plant swapping meets and workshops.

Flat Life: St Kilda Hill and the History of Flats in Melbourne – a walking tour through the Melbourne’s enriching history of flat living, high density urban dwelling in a range of developments including sub-divided mansions, ‘60s six-packs, European high-rises and more, guided by architect David Brand.

Among Buildings: Melbourne Architecture Through Poetry & Photography – a collaborative exploration of Melbourne’s iconic landmarks such as Manchester Unity Building, Plumbers & Gasfitters Employees’ Union Building, Queen Victoria Market and Storey Hall celebrated in images, words and designs by Tom Ross (photographer), Michael Roper (poet and architect) and Stuart Geddes (graphic designer).

Future Homes: Better Apartments is an interactive walk-through of projected full-size designs of unseen competition entries to this Victorian design competition. Audiences will receive an engaging presentation as they navigate the full apartment plans placed with real life furniture, followed by a talk about elements and policies needed for better future homes, better neighbours and better for the environment with considerations for accessibility, sustainability, landscaping and more.

Over 115 beloved and unique venues are part of the program such as Heavenly Queen Temple, Former Williamstown Morgue, CityLink Control Room, Trades Hall and many, many more. For a full list and to book limited tours, events and experiences visit the OHM website.

The Open House Melbourne Weekend 2023 takes place on Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July 2023. The full program is now available online –  the most coveted experiences are sure to book out in advance. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Bunjil Place Main Entrance from Bunjil Square – photo by John Gollings