Sydney Opera House - The Traveller


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Friday, September 5, 2014

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House – Architectural Work of 20th Century

The Sydney Opera House is an amazing architectural work of the 20th century which brought about multipleamounts of creativity and innovation to architectural form as well as structural design. It is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales in Australia and located on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour which is close to Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Its facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district together with the Royal Botanic Gardens which lies between Sydney and Farm Coves. It was inaugurated in 1973 and is a wonderful urban sculpture, set in awesome waterscape at the tip of a peninsula which projects into Sydney Harbour where the building had an enduring influence on architecture.

It comprises of three sects of interlocking vaulted `shells’, that roof two main performance halls together with a restaurant where the shell shaped structures are set on a vast platform, surrounded by terrace areas which function as pedestrians concourses.

Designed by Jorn Utzon – Danish Architect

It was designed by Jorn Utzon a Danish architect and the facility were formally opened on 20 October 1973 beginning with Utzon’s 1957 selection as a winner of an international design competition. Premier Joseph Cahill of The NSW Government authorised the work to begin in 1958 under his direction for the construction.

It was the government’s decision to build Utzon’s design which was often overshadowed by circumstances which was due to cost and rescheduling overruns and the architect’s resignation. The project consists of several performance venues, though its name indicates single venue, which when combined are the busiest performing art centres in the world, accommodating over 1,500 performances each year with 1.2 million people attending it.

 These venues present and produce a variety of in house productions accommodating various performing arts companies which include four key resident companies namely Opera Australia, The Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and The Australian Ballet.

An UNESCO Heritage Site 

Being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia, there are over seven million people visiting the site every year with around 300,000 people taking part annually in guided tour of the facility.

The Sydney Opera House had been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 28, 2007. It has also been identified as the most distinctive building of the 20th century as well as one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world where the facility is handled by the Sydney Opera House Trust under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.

It was presumed to be constructed in three stages which were helpful in understanding the history of the three key elements of its architectural composition namely the podium –

Stage 1, the vaulted shells –

Stage 2 and the glass walls and interiors –

Stage 3. Architect Jorn Utzon conceivedthe design as well as supervised the overall construction of the podium and the vaulted shells while the glass walls and interiors were designed and construction supervised by architect Peter Hall together with Lionel Todd and David Littlemore accompanied with the New South Wales Government Architect at that time, Ted Farmer.

Peter Hall was in contact with Utzon on several aspects of the design for eighteen months after his departure, with Ove Arup & Partners providing engineering expertise in construction of all three stages.

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