11 March 2013 - SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE



G'day guys,

Today I introduce you to another famous Aussie icon - The Sydney Opera House. 

The  Sydney Opera House, located in the city of Sydney, State of New South Wales, Australia, is one of the most famous and distinctive buildings of the twentieth century. In 2007, declared a World Heritage site, was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon in 1957 and opened in 1973. In the building, theater, ballet, opera or musical productions are presented. It is headquarters of the company Opera Australia, the Sydney Theater Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and is administered by the Opera House Trust, a public body under the supervision of the New South Wales Ministry of Arts.

The Opera House of Sydney is a construction with an expressionist radically innovative design, comprising a large number of prefabricated shells, each one taken from the same hemisphere, which form the vaults of the structure. The Opera House covers 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres). It has 183 meters (605 feet) long and about 120 meters (388 feet) at its widest point. It is supported by 580 pillars sunk to a depth of 25 meters below sea level. Its power supply has a capacity equivalent to the power consumption of a city of 25,000 people. Energy is distributed through 645 miles of cable. 

The roof of the theater is covered with 1.056 million of cream and bright white tiles in matte produced in Sweden, which in the distance, appear white in color only. 

The two largest groups of arches that form the roof of the theater belongs to each Concert Hall (Concert Hall) and the Opera House (Opera Theater). The other rooms have ceiling as clusters of smaller vaults. The shape of shells was chosen to lighten the weight of internal structure, rising from the bottom of the entry spaces on the seating areas, reaching the highest stages.

A much smaller group of shells, is one for the tickets and the monumental staircase and the Bennelong restaurant. Although the structures of the roof of the Sydney Opera House is commonly referred to as shells (as in this article), they are not actually in the vaults architectural sense of the word, as they are supported by prefabricated panels prefabricated ribs.

Inside the building is built in pink granite extracted from the region Tarana of, timber and plywood from New South Wales.

The nearest accessible station is Circular Quay Station, other roads are the ferry terminal and bus terminal. Within the city is located in the district of Central Business District (CBD).

The idea of building an opera house in Sydney began to materialize in recent years of the decade of the 40's when Eugène Goossens, director of the Conservatory of Music in Sydney in the state of New South Wales held that the city needed to have a place suitable for large theatrical productions. 

At that time the theater was in the building of the Sydney Town Hall, an area considered insufficient for this type of production. In 1954, Goossens was a great success in obtaining support from the prime minister of state, Joseph Cahill, who called for designs for a new building dedicated to house the opera house.

Goossens also insisted that the building was built on Bennelong Point peninsula on the Bay in Sydney, against the advice of the prime minister Cahill, who felt it was best to install it in the vicinity of the railway station at Wynyard, north-west of the city, thus facilitating their access in this way. Bennelong is a small peninsula called in this way to honor an Aboriginal called Bennelong (1764-1813) who was the intermediary between the Aboriginal settlement and the Commander of the Fleet and first Governor of New Wales, Philip Arthur.

The contest began on September 13, 1955 and received a total of 233 projects from 32 different countries in search of a prize consisting of $ 100,000. The minimum criteria to be specified to contain the projects were a great room with capacity for 3,000 seats and a smaller room for about 1,200 seats, each of the designs were to contain spaces for big operas, concerts, orchestras, choirs, conferences, meetings, performances of different types.

The winning design was announced in 1957, won by the draft of  Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. Eero Saarinen, American architect and designer of Finnish origin, who made up the jury of the Commission of the opera house of Sydney, was crucial for the selection of the design of Jørn Utzon. Utzon arrived in Sydney in 1957 to help oversee the design and construction of the building. 

 Jorn Utzon has been described as an intensely private person. However, during the construction of the Sydney Opera House, Utzon became entangled in political intrigues. He was besieged by a hostile press, which eventually forced him out of the project before it was completed. The Opera house was completed by other designers under the direction of Peter Hall. However, Utzon was able to accomplish the basic structure, leaving just the interiors to be finished by others.

Clancy's comment: It certainly is an impressive building.

I'm ...

Blog Comment:
Rita Banerji has left a new comment on your post "11 March 2013 - SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE":

I do think that this is one of the most gorgeous examples of modern architecture. Another reason, besides the fact I love opera, that I hope to visit it some day! I was wondering Clancy what consideration was given to the inside architecture in context of sound and acoustics. When I lived in Washington D.C. one of my favorite concert halls was the one at the National Academy of Sciences. It has the most brilliant acoustics, which is possible because of the internal architecture, and various features of it, that absorbs echoes etc. Such that they never use electronic magnification and the sound is naturally magnified with that clean, clear Dolby effect. Just marvelous! The best kept secret in Washington DC I think :)

Dr Judith O'Malley-Ford has left a new comment on your post "11 March 2013 - SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE":

Thanks, Clancy, Sydney Opera House, one of the wonders of the modern world.