Sydney Opera House, with a futuristic design and high-tech innovation is a form of challenge in the field of architecture which is successfully realized. The success has brought a motivation in the future world of architecture by presenting a marvelous piece of architecture. Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon in 1959 for 14 years, standing on an area of 1.8 hectares with a roof height reaches 67 m above the sea surface. Jon Utzon applied “sperical geometry” design which consists of 2,194 pre-cast concrete sections.
Shells which are used on the roof of the Sydney Opera House are free-form-structured shells.
The existing shells shape does not apply the geometrical pattern but is structurally bounded.
Although the geometrical shape remains in some elements, it is not a major factor. It was the era before computer-aided design and the architectural model demonstrates how Utzon solved a design problem relating to the construction of his spectacular roof shells.
Design on the shell structure is still calculated in accordance with the structural principles. But it does not restrict the architect in exploring ideas and concepts in the work. It is reflected in the design of the Sydney opera house that can be an inspiration in the next architectural masterpieces in the future. The Sydney’s pride is mainly serves the purpose as a grand stage for theater, music, opera, modern dance, ballet, exhibitions and films.
The World Heritage
When the Sydney Opera House came into completion in 1973, it was marked as a significant event in architectural history of the twentieth century. The House was one of the first examples of the use of computer analysis to design complex geometric shapes, and opened the way for more difficult building shapes to be constructed using computer-aided design (such as in the work of architect Frank Gehry and ‘blob architecture’ seen around the world).
In June 2007, UNESCO put Sydney Opera House to the UNESCO World Heritage List, with the acknowledgment that ‘Sydney Opera House stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the twentieth century, but in the history of humankind’. Jørn Utzon was only the second living architect to have his work recognized in this way.
Sydney Opera House consists of many purposeful chambers such as Concert Hall, Opera Theatre, Drama Theatre, Playhouse, studio, reception hall, foyer, rehearsal studios, restaurant, and dressing room.
The House achieved some awards for its unusual design during its era although they were not prized right away after its completion. Here below is what The House has achieved:
- RAIA Merit Award, 1974.
- Meritorious Lighting Award of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia, 1974.
- RAIA Civic Design Award, 1980.
- RAIA Commemorative Award, Jørn Utzon – Sydney Opera House, 1992.
An Opera house so phenomenal raises artist and audience expectations to a higher level. The designer team set the scene for unforgettable performances through world-class service tailored to audiences’ needs: Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Drama Theatre, Playhouse, Studio, Utzon Room, Northern Foyers, and Intel Broadcast Studio. Each is marvelously designed.
Interesting Facts About Sydney Opera House
This last piece of the article is the trivia I search all over the internet about Sydney Opera House. In case you are too lazy to read other long-boring-too-detailed articles about the same topic. ust enjoy this.
- The architect Jorn Utzon was initially rejected by three judges in a 1956 competition to design the Sydney Opera House, but his entry was picked out by the fourth judge, renowned American architect Eero Saarinen, who declared it outstanding. Mr Utzon beat 232 other entrants.
- For that, he won £5,000 for his design.
- Jorn Utzon had never visited the site of the Sydney Opera House before entering the design competition, but used his naval experience to study charts of the harbor.
- Work started on it in 1959, with 10,000 builders employed.
- Mr Utzon resigned as chief architect of the Opera House in February 1966, after a new Liberal government was elected and the Minister of Works stopped payments to him. There were protests in the streets, demanding that Utzon be reinstated, but he left Australia in April of the same year, and never returned to see his design take shape.
- The Sydney Opera House Trust took up communicating with Mr Utzon again in the late Nineties, and the architect was appointed as a design consultant for future works.
- When Queen Elizabeth II opened the Sydney Opera House on October 20, 1973, Utzon was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of Architects Australia – but was absent from the ceremony.
- The Sydney Opera House’s construction cost $AUS 102 million (£60 million) – the original estimated cost was $AUS 7 million (£4.1 million).
- The Opera House’s sails were built using cranes made specifically for the job in France, each costing $AUS 100,000 (£59,000)
- The building is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide.
- The highest roof point is 67 metres above sea-level – the same as a 22-storey high building
- Its roof is made of 2,194 pre-cast concrete sections.
- These sections weigh up to 15 tons each …
- … and are held together by 350km of tensioned steel cable …
- … which if laid end-to-end would reach Canberra
- The roof is covered with more than one million tiles, made by Swedish company Höganas.
- The building has 6,225 square metres of glass and 645 kilometres of electric cable.
- The glass used in the building is unique to the Sydney Opera House, and was made to order in France.
- The architectural style is Expressionist Modernism – which involves innovative form and use of novel materials.
- The entire site covers an area of 5.798 hectares. Eight Boeing 747s could sit wing-to-wing on the site.
- The House hosts 3,000 events every year.
- Two hundred thousand people per year take a guided tour of the building.
- Its performances have an annual audience of two million.
- The largest of the seven venues, the Concert Hall, has 2,679 seats.
- The smallest is the Utzon room, which seats up to 210 people.
- The Concert Hall’s Grand Organ is the largest mechanical version of this instrument in the world, with 10,154 pipes. It took ten years to build.
- 1,000 rooms in total.
- 15,500 lightbulbs are changed every year at the Opera House.
- The 40th anniversary is being celebrated with a month-long calendar of events throughout October, including a large concert on 27th October with performances by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
- You won’t go hungry or thirsty at the Sydney Opera House: it has three restaurants, a café, an espresso bar, and opera and theatre bars.
- The building was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007, and the organisation describes it as “great urban sculpture set in a remarkable waterscape, at the tip of a peninsula projecting into Sydney Harbour.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger won his final Mr Olympia body building title in the Concert Hall in 1980. “I’ll be back” he said, and he did. Lol.
- During the Eighties, a net was put in place above the orchestra pit in the Opera Theatre, after a live chicken walked off the stage during a performance of Boris Godunov and landed on a cellist.
- The Sydney Opera House was the setting for Jon Cleary’s crime novel Helga’s Web, in which a body is found in the building’s basement. The book was made into a film starring, Scobie Malone, in 1975.
- The building is open to the public 363 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day and Good Friday. But staff work 24/7, 365 days of the year.
- The first person to perform at the Sydney Opera House was Paul Robeson – in 1960, he sang Ol’ Man River to the construction workers as they ate lunch.
- The first opera performed at the house was Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace, on September 28 1973.
- The House was originally a popular film-screening venue, with a particular surfing movie theme.
- The venue served as the focus for triathlon events during the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- Since opening the Opera House, the Queen has visited four times.