Unique architectural constructions around the world (P.18) – Sydney Opera House: A troubled journey to become the magnificent symbol of Australia

09-11-2020

(WorldKings.org) There are few buildings as famous as the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Arguably considered the eighth wonder of the world, the opera house has a long history behind its design.

The story behind this magnificent structure began in 1956 when the New South Wales Government called an open competition for the design of two performance halls, for opera and for symphony concerts, that would put Sydney on the map.

The Danish architect Jørn Utzon was unknown for his work at the time, yet his entry for the competition which consisted of a few simple sketches intrigued the famous Eero Saarinen who was part of the jury. Construction of the Sydney Opera House began in March 1959 after the demolition of the existing Fort Macquarie Tram Depot. The project was built in three phases: the foundation and building of the podium overlooking the Sydney Harbor, the construction of the outer shells, and the construction of the interior.

His winning entry brought Utzon international fame. Construction, however, which began in 1959, posed a variety of problems, many resulting from the innovative nature of the design. The opening of the Opera House was originally planned for Australia Day (January 26) in 1963, but cost overruns and structural engineering difficulties in executing the design troubled the course of the work, which faced many delays. The project grew controversial, and public opinion turned against it for a time. Amid continuing disagreements with the government authorities overseeing the project, Utzon resigned in 1966. Construction continued until September 1973 under the supervision of the structural engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners and three Sydney architects—Peter Hall, David Littlemore, and Lionel Todd.

In 1999 Utzon agreed to return as the building’s architect, overseeing an improvement project. He redesigned the former Reception Hall, and it was reopened in 2004 as the Utzon Room. It has an eastern view of Sydney Harbour and is used for receptions, seminars and other meetings, and chamber music performances. Two years later a new colonnade was completed, marking the first alteration to the Opera House’s exterior since 1973.

The Opera House is Sydney’s best-known landmark. It is a multipurpose performing arts facility whose largest venue, the 2,679-seat Concert Hall, is host to symphony concerts, choir performances, and popular music shows. Opera and dance performances, including ballet, take place in the Opera Theatre, which seats just over 1,500. There are also three theatres of different sizes and configurations for stage plays, film screenings, and smaller musical performances. The Forecourt, on the southeastern end of the complex, is used for outdoor performances. The building also houses restaurants and a professional recording studio. In 2007 the Opera House was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

According to britannica.com and archdaily.com


Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)

 

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