Open House Melbourne 2023

The recently released OHM program explores the question; as Melbourne expands to reach a projected population of 8 million by 2025, how will we reinvent, re-purpose and adapt our city to live better together?

“Open House Melbourne is one of the rare forums dedicated to building public conversation focused on the issues that impact the design of our cities, towns and public places. Its work is incredibly important,” says Executive Director Tania Davidge. Emblematic of this work is an impactful program which continues the platform’s dedication to collaboration, creativity and the issues that shape our cities.

Open Journal Open House Melbourne

OHM Executive Director Tania Davidge

Showcasing both metropolitan and regional projects, the OHM program sees many of Victoria’s uniquely relevant and resonant places and spaces open their doors to the public in a weekend of spirited and inclusive discourse. This year, Tania’s recent appointment as the program’s steward brings her own focus — social housing — into the spotlight, driving advocacy of a critically important issue.

Open Journal Open House Melbourne

Still from Modern Melbourne, featuring Architect Kerstin Thompson.

Further cementing Open House Melbourne’s social housing polestar is the recent announcement of the next architect to host the ongoing series, premiering on 27th July, 2023, Modern Melbourne - Kerstin Thompson. Established in 1994, Kerstin Thompson Architects – also known as KTA – explores how architecture can respond with great care to local conditions in ways that positively shape our lives and communities. KTA projects are ‘engines for discovery’ – a single-family house provides an opportunity to test and evolve flexible ways of living; a museum is a space to reveal pre-histories, stories and celebrate community; while a private commission offers a chance to borrow from a neighbour’s garden and bring its leafy qualities inside – celebrating a connection to nature and to the street. Award-winning buildings such as Broadmeadows Town Hall, Queen and Collins, Bundanon Art Museum and Bridge and the Melbourne Holocaust Museum (which is part of this year’s Open House program) all expand upon what Kerstin describes as her deep commitment to an architecture that contributes to our ‘living heritage’.

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Melbourne Holocaust Museum, by KTA. Photography by Derek Swalwell.

Other 2023 program highlights include:

The Making Home series curated by Open House Executive Director and Chief Curator, Tania Davidge

Designing with Country, presented by RMIT University’s Yulendj Weelam Lab - Wednesday 26 July

This is Public, opening speaker series – Friday 28 July at The Capitol RMIT

Art and Heritage Collection Store, Town Hall – By any standard the Art and Heritage Collection is eclectic. It is made up of a range of cultural material, which now numbers over 13,000 items. The collection store provides a centre for research, conservation and collection management.

Flat Life: St Kilda Hill and the History of Flats in Melbourne is a walking tour that presents St Kilda Hill as Melbourne’s experimental building laboratory through its century-long development of medium and high density modes of urban dwelling.

Fender Katsalidis will present Melbourne’s urban development and how modes of inhabitation have intensified and diversified in the Fender Katsalidis Walking Tour - Evolution of Apartment Living. The tour will visit Republic Tower, Paragon, Hero, Phoenix and finish at Southbank to showcase Eureka and Australia 108.

Heritage Council of Victoria’s annual Heritage Address – Monday 31 July at The Capitol RMIT

Open Journal Open House Melbourne

Hero, by FK. Photography by Katarina Steube.

Open House Melbourne leads critical public debate on the value of place and design, empowering all Victorians to understand the important role they can play in shaping our built and natural environments.

Visit the Open House Melbourne website for the full program. Feature image of the City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection by Tobias Titz. Words by Tiffany Jade.