Open House San Diego Returns March 24-25

Citywide architecture and design event offers free, behind-the-scene tours of eighty of San Diego’s best-known and never-before-seen buildings

The San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) has announced its popular Open House San Diego ™ (OH! SDTM) architecture and urban design event will take place the weekend of March 24-25. This festival of free tours at eighty locations citywide offers the public a rare, behind-the-scenes look at some of San Diego’s most iconic buildings. Each OH! SD site was carefully selected because it contributes in a unique way to the fabric of our city, with architectural, historic or cultural significance.

“Absolutely everyone is welcome to attend,” said Susanne Friestedt, Founder of OH! SD, “We expect the same kind of crowd as last year – architecture and design students, families and San Diegans interested in learning more about the history and development of our city. Last year, over 6,000 visits were tallied at 47 sites. This year we anticipate at least 10,000 visits to our 80 sites.”

Residents and out-of-town visitors will have the chance to discover some of San Diego’s newest, never-before-seen buildings, in addition to historic landmarks throughout Downtown, Bankers Hill, Barrio Logan, Balboa Park, and new for 2018, Point Loma. There will be designer-led tours and talks at many sites. Anyone may enter the juried architectural photography competition, which will award prizes in a variety of categories.

With eighty sites participating, OH! SD is the largest architectural event in San Diego. The locations provide attendees a wide range of fascinating experiences showcasing San Diego’s architectural diversity.

Not to be missed:

  • Moniker Commons blends community and commerce to create a gathering place for productivity. The Liberty Station workplace features custom design details in an environment that fosters collaboration and creativity.
  • The elegant Timken Museum of Art, is one of Balboa Park’s unsung masterpieces. It features a world-class collection of European and American paintings and sculptures, housed within a mid-century building that cleverly blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior.
  • Point Loma Nazarene University, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, has a mix of historic and innovative, modern buildings throughout the campus, including the first Greek theatre built in America. The 32,900-square-foot Science Center – Sator Hall and Latter Hall has iconic curved stainless-steel screens, laser cut with Alpha and Omega symbols. Ethereal sunlight floods into the building. This building, designed by Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, received an SDAF Orchid Award and a 2017 Best of Design Award from The Architect’s Newspaper.
  • For a rich cultural experience, tour the recently restored 1920’s era Ohr Shalom Synagogue with its dramatic Moorish-style dome floating above the octagonal sanctuary embellished with Middle Eastern decorative motifs.
  • Gensler, the world’s largest architecture firm, has transformed the former street-level NBC newsroom into their creative and sustainable workplace. Chat with their architects on the grand, open staircase and roof terrace.

Each OH! SD site has an original feature, or its own unique story: innovative use of materials, repurposing of space, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, or unique use of public areas. Spaces such as architecture and design studios, museums, schools, hotels, high-rises, and SDAF Orchid Award winners, as well as historically designated sites are featured.

Most sites will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with open access. Some will offer scheduled talks and guided tours on a first-come, first-served basis, while others will require reservations. All sites are family friendly and easily accessible by public transit, bike or trolley.

“This year’s hidden gem is Gruenberg Law Office,” said Maxine Ward, AIA, architect & Principal with Studio E Architects and OH! SD Chair. “Tucked behind a restored Victorian on Bankers Hill is a modern glass and concrete structure that makes for a striking juxtaposition between old and new. In addition to being an intriguing piece of architecture, it is highly sustainable and on the path towards net zero energy status.”

The Gruenberg Law Office is open from 1-4pm on Saturday only.

Title sponsor for OH! SD 2018 is Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty.

For more information visit A full list of participating sites will be available March 1.

About The San Diego Architectural Foundation

San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region. For more information about SDAF, visit and follow the SDAF Facebook page at

About Open House Worldwide (

Open House Worldwide (OHWW) was founded in London over 25 years ago by Victoria Thornton, OBE and made its way to the United States, starting with Open House New York. OHWW is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating and engaging the public about the best in urban design, architecture, and the critical challenges facing our cities, such as rapid population growth, density, transportation, the environment, and the need for healthy, dignified spaces. More than one million people in over forty cities attend OHWW programs each year.

Open House San Diego, OH! San Diego and OH! SD are trademarks of the San Diego Architectural Foundation.