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Queensland open house events

Key finding

Since 2010, Open House events have been staged in 6 Queensland cities: beginning with Brisbane and expanding to Maryborough, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, Bundaberg and, in 2017, the Sunshine Coast. The global Open House movement highlights history and architecture and offers a range of satellite events for the public in each city.

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Open house events (select locations to filter information)

Queensland

The Open House movement, which began in London in 1992, showcases outstanding architecture and encourages people to explore and understand the value of a well-designed built environment—all for free.

The Open House movement is now celebrated globally.  Open House events allow people to explore buildings—or parts of buildings—that are not usually open to the public. In 2017, the Queensland Open House event attracted 87,634 visitors.

Brisbane Open House started in 2010 followed by Maryborough, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Bundaberg. The inaugural Sunshine Coast Open House in 2017 saw more than 2,800 people visit 30 buildings and associated events. Heritage places made up 3 of the top 5 visited buildings.

The Open House model provides a significant opportunity for Brisbane and regional cities to showcase their history and architecture, while enhancing the tourist experience.

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Brisbane

At Brisbane Open House—a free-of-charge event held annually in conjunction with World Architecture Day—selected buildings are opened for the public with guided and self-guided tours to encourage visitors to engage with Brisbane's built environment.

The inaugural Brisbane Open House was a one-day event held in 2010 with great success, attracting more than 12,500 visits. Now in its eighth year and held over a full weekend, Brisbane Open House has become a popular element of Queensland’s events calendar. In 2017 Brisbane Open House attracted 67,371 visitors.

Support from locals and visitors have seen the event grow steadily. More than 220 buildings across Brisbane have been opened through the event and more than 350,000 people have attended. Heritage buildings’ popularity grows annually.  In 2017, 14 of the 17 most visited buildings were entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.

Research conducted by the Brisbane Open House events team at the 2017 event found:

  • 78% of respondents wanted to visit heritage buildings
  • 76.9% participated in Brisbane Open House to learn about the history of Brisbane and its architecture.

Brisbane Open House is supported by the Queensland Government, Brisbane Development Association and National Trust of Australia (Queensland), and sponsored by the Queensland Heritage Council.

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Maryborough

Maryborough Open House is a free-of-charge event, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to discover the unique attributes of Maryborough’s heritage places, encouraging new levels of community engagement.

The inaugural Maryborough Open House was held in 2012 and has grown in popularity.

In 2017 event, there were nearly 7,300 visits to 25 buildings—all but 1 was a Heritage Place.

The event is a joint initiative of the Fraser Coast Regional Council and National Trust Australia (Queensland), in partnership with Fraser Coast Opportunities. The Queensland Heritage Council has sponsored the event since its inception.

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Toowoomba

Toowoomba Open House is a free-of-charge event, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to celebrate Toowoomba’s unique built environment.

The event aims to foster an understanding of the contribution that design makes to the quality of urban life, showcasing the adaptive reuse of some of Toowoomba’s heritage places, while encouraging new levels of community engagement.

The inaugural Toowoomba Open House, staged in 2013, was a considerable success with more than 2,500 visits to 17 buildings. In 2017, there were 6,814 visits to 19 buildings. All but 4 of the buildings were Heritage Places.

Toowoomba Open House continues with support from its foundation members – Queensland Government, Toowoomba Regional Council, Toowoomba Branch of the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) and members of the Australian Institute of Architects–Darling Downs. The Queensland Heritage Council has sponsored the event since its inception.

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Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Open House is a free public event that celebrates the region’s architecture and offers behind-the-scenes access to some of the Coast’s significant and iconic buildings.

Its inaugural event in 2017 saw 2,809 visitors welcomed to 30 places (including 11 Heritage Places) and associated events.

The founding partners of the event included the Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Shire Council and members of the Australian Institute of Architects.

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Gold Coast

Gold Coast Open House is a free public event for residents and visitors of all ages providing access to some of the city’s most significant and interesting places.

At the inaugural Gold Coast Open House in 2015, 22 places opened their doors to up to 3000 people.

In 2017, Gold Coast Open House saw 40 buildings, places and spaces accessible across the city – including 13 heritage buildings. The event attracted 2,500 visitors.

Gold Coast Open House is a joint initiative of the City of Gold Coast, National Trust of Australia (Queensland) and members of the Australian Institute of Architects. The Queensland Heritage Council sponsored the inaugural event.

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Bundaberg

Bundaberg Open House is a free public event for residents and visitors of all ages providing access to some of the city’s most significant and unique places.

The inaugural event, in October 2016, provided opportunity to explore and learn more about Bundaberg, its history and how architecture and design have contributed to the city as it is today.

In 2017, about 870 people visited 10 building, all of which were Heritage Places.

Bundaberg Regional Council hosts Bundaberg Open House, sponsored by the Queensland Heritage Council.

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Indicator: Number of heritage places open and number of people visiting heritage places in Open House events throughout Queensland

Number of heritage places open, and number of people visiting heritage places at open house events by location for 2010-2017.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 10 May 2019