2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Open House Melbourne 2012 [DRAFT]

Image Credit : Queues at Parliament House



Event Summary

Open House Melbourne aims to engage public to understand our city; its past, present and future. We do this through opening buildings of interest, providing information on the significance of each building, promoting design and explaining design concepts – and we make it FREE as design is for everyone.

Open House Melbourne is an annual, free weekend-long event in July for Melburnians and visitors to learn more about and appreciate the architecture, urban design and design excellence of our city.

The free Speaker Series, held in the lead up to the event weekend, allows the public to understand how discussions on architecture are framed by architects, and most importantly to unveil the multitude of design processes that are implemented by architects to create our significant architectural buildings.


Open House Melbourne


The organising committee behind Open House Melbourne is a team of 12 Melbourne professionals who dedicate their time and expertise to delivering the event each year. Six members of the team came together in 2008 through the Committee for Melbourne’s Future Focus Group (FFG).

In 2009 Open House Melbourne was incorporated as a not-for-profit association, with the original team members as its Committee members, along with skilled event professionals who donated extensive time.

In 2010 Melbourne Open House contracted a project manager to coordinate the logistics of the weekend and in excess of 350 volunteers who dedicate their time on the event days to ensure the program runs smoothly. Volunteer numbers swelled to 600 in 2011.

In 2011, a marketing consultant and co-ordinator were also engaged part-time to specifically raise the profile of the event and Melbourne through a dedicated campaign complementing the public relations plan (contributed via an in-kind sponsorship arrangement) and focussing on web, social media and print, radio and television media partnerships. This part-time contract was renewed for the 2012 event.

A challenge has been in maintaining the original members’ ability to contribute amidst competing pressures of work and family commitments; however the team has focussed its efforts on ensuring the event’s sustainability.

Event Details

Open House Melbourne (OHM) directly engages the public with the key buildings that form this great city via an expertly run event.

From globally significant architectural buildings to cutting edge technological advancements, from roof top gardens to subterranean infrastructure, OHM opens significant buildings over one weekend for free for Melbournians and visitors to learn more about and appreciate the architecture, urban design and design excellence of our city.

The fourth annual Open House Melbourne event in July 2011 attracted more than 106,000 visits across 75 venues. In 2012, for its fifth anniversary, Open House Melbourne expects 120,000 visits to 100 buildings.

Open House Melbourne has become an established part of Melbourne’s renowned event calendar. In 2011, it joined the Open House Worldwide network, www.openhouseworldwide.org, featuring in a May 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal and boosting its exposure to millions more internationally. The vision is for it to grow an international reputation matching that of Open House London.

People will travel from intrastate, interstate and overseas to experience this unique element of Melbourne’s culture, coming back to discover more each year as the event grows in size and popularity.


Open House Melbourne is unashamedly focused on promoting significant
architectural content, regardless of age or style, to the public.

It is through allowing people access to spaces such as these that we can build understanding and empathy within our community and make Melbourne a better place for everyone. As a free of charge event, Open House Melbourne does not differentiate on age, gender, employment, marital or socio¬economic status.

Open House Melbourne is focused in the city, so it brings thousands of people into the CBD during a weekend in the middle of winter. Rather than focusing strictly on architecture and design aficionados, Open House Melbourne targets the Melbourne community as the heart of
the event, encouraging the broadest demographic and target market.

2011 statistics indicate that Open House Melbourne has a broad appeal
to all ages, with increasing family attendance numbers. Open House Melbourne is in the fortuitous position where it regularly brings together a diverse range of design related authorities, professional bodies, institutions and organisations equally. In turn, this then allows the event to showcase to the public the broadest range of significant buildings and spaces that create the many facets of Melbourne.


Open House Melbourne has a commitment to promoting sustainability and as part of this commitment, it opens some of the most efficient green buildings in Australia for public to explore what is possible in terms of sustainability and efficiency in building both commercial and residential spaces. Examples of these remarkable buildings include Urban workshop, 60L Green Building and 1010 LaTrobe Street, part of Digital Harbour in Docklands.

In order to increase visitors awareness and point out the solutions, the buildings with environmentally sustainable design are specially marked in communications.

The recommended method of transport during the event is public trasport - trams & trains - as well as bicycles to move around during the weekend.

Open House Melbourne also sources as much of its marketing materials and printing locally to ensure a low carbon count on each item procured.

This award recognises the leading design event conducted in Melbourne. It may be a single function or series of functions and events under one design event umbrella. The event must be designed specifically for the design community either professional or the design public.
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