Sydney Opera House

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Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House


The Sydney Opera House is significant in the course of Australia's cultural history, both for its place in the national history of building design and construction, as well as the history of the performing arts in Australia. The Sydney Opera House represents a masterpiece of modern architectural design, engineering and construction technology in Australia. It is a national icon that has become an internationally-recognised symbol of modern Australia and of Sydney, Australia's largest city.

Sydney Opera House: Project Management

From the earliest concept drawings, the building's striking design, its quality as a monumental sculpture in the round, and its inspired design solution in response to its prominent setting on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, have attracted national and international professional and public acclaim. The challenges involved in executing the design inspired innovative developments in technologies, construction engineering and building methods in Australia, creating the building's distinctive form, fabric and structural systems. Since the official opening on 20 October 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Sydney Opera House has played a seminal role in Australia's performing arts history, enhancing the cultural vitality of the nation and continuously attracting nationally and internationally recognised performers from around the world. The achievement of its design and construction between 1957 and 1973 is all the more remarkable because it marks a significant transitional period in Australian political and economic development, and changing social attitudes towards Australian cultural life in the decades following World War II.

The Sydney Opera House is a cultural icon that has no counterpart in Australia. With its distinctive sail-like concrete shell roofs standing boldly upon a massive granite-faced platform, located prominently on the Sydney Harbour foreshore, the Sydney Opera House is the most widely recognised building in Australia, and one of the most definitive national architectural icons of the twentieth century. It is also a rare example of a national cultural centre that has gained widespread recognition and respect as a performing arts venue. The design, form, scale and location of the Opera House make it one of the most significant landmarks in Australia. The aesthetic qualities of the Sydney Opera House relate both to its topographical setting on Bennelong Point, and its distinctive architectural features. Its landmark qualities are enhanced by the building's juxtaposition with Sydney Harbour, its relationship with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the garden landscape of Bennelong Ridge, the sandstone cliff face of Tarpeian Rock, and the vistas and views to and from The Rocks, Circular Quay, East Circular Quay, Macquarie Street, the Botanic Gardens and the harbour. The sculptural, billowing sail-like roof shells provide a visual link to and artistic representation of the yachtscattered harbour waters. The ceramic white tiles of the roof further add to this relationship and provide a dramatic contrast with the blue waters of the harbour. The building with its strongly curved design emphasis is juxtaposed with the nearby Sydney Harbour Bridge which itself has a strongly emphasized curvature, and this visual relationship is a further element of the ...
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