Sydney Opera House Facts

Here is a summary of the Sydney Opera House facts: design, construction, controversy and plans versus reality.

The construction of this majestic building put Sydney on the world map. The opera house is now one of the best tourist attractions in Australia. And it attracts top celebrities such as Oprah who taped a show at the opera in 2010.

But back in the 1950s, things were different. It is difficult to imagine that today's vibrant city was a boring place at that time.

The Harbour Bridge was overlooking a dull tram depot located on the Bennelong Point. A depot with waterfront views. In a city that did not have a concert venue.

So the logic decision was to get rid of the tram house and erect an opera house.

That simple. But this is where the troubles started. And they went on for a number of years.

However the end result is a stunning Australian icon, recognisable by almost anyone in the world. It is on the UNESCO world heritage list.

sydney opera house - green lights opera

The Project

Here are a few quick facts about the history of Sydney Opera House:

  • The design was the result of an international competition;
  • The winner was a Danish architect Jorn Utzon;
  • Construction began in 1959;
  • The construction started without a clear plan for the roof;
  • Jorn Utzon resigned in 1966.

Sydney Opera House Facts - From Plans to Reality

  • The initial cost estimate was $7 million;
  • The actual cost spiralled to $102 million, and we are not talking today's money;
  • The deadline for inauguration was on Australia Day 1963...
  • ...But construction ended 10 years later, in 1973;
  • The building is 183 metres long and 120 metres wide;
  • It stands on 588 concrete piers sunk underwater.
  • The roof shells designed by the Danish architect did not have a clear geometrical shape and the blueprints kept changing;
  • The final solution was to build the shells as spherical sections;
  • Utzon's vision for the interior design was a rich, colourful, luxuriant decor;
  • The actual interiors are simple, basic, cold - bare concrete and glass.

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