Social Icons


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is a famous tourist attraction with a multi venue performing arts centre on Bennelong Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who, in 2003, received the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour. There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.

Sydney Opera HouseSydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. Currently, it is the most recently constructed World Heritage Site to be designated as such, sharing this distinction with such ancient landmarks as Stonehenge and the Giza Necropolis. It is one of the 20th century most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world. Sydney Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the northeastern tip of the Sydney central business district, surrounded on three sides by the harbour and neighboured by the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Contrary to its name, the building houses six venues. The two largest venues, the Opera Theatre and Concert Hall, are housed in the two larger sets of shells. Three smaller theatres, the Drama Theatre, Playhouse and Studio are situated on the western side of the building, and the Utzon Room on the eastern side. The award winning Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant occupies the smaller set of shells. A seventh performance space, The Forecourt, is regularly used for free community events and large scale outdoor performances.

As one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world, providing over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people, Sydney Opera House promotes and supports many performing arts companies including the four key resident companies Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Symphony. Sydney Opera House also presents more than 700 of its own performances annually that offer an eclectic mix of artistic and cultural activities for all ages from the educational to the experimental. It is also one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than 7 million people visiting the site each year. The Sydney Opera House has been a featured Santa Cam location, since the start of Santa Cam use with the 1998 NORAD Tracks Santa tracking season. Sydney Opera House is administered by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.

Sydney Opera HouseSydney Opera HouseSydney Opera House is a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete shells each composed of sections of a hemisphere of the same radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares or 4.5 acres of land and is 183 metres or 605 ft long and 120 metres or 388 ft wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 metres below sea level. The roofs of the House are covered in a subtle chevron pattern with 1,056,006 glossy white- and matte-cream-colored Swedish-made tiles from Hoganas AB, though, from a distance, the shells appear a uniform white.

The Opera House was formally completed in 1973, having cost $102 million. H.R. Sam Hoare, the Hornibrook director in charge of the project, provided the following approximations in 1973: Stage I: podium Civil & Civic Pty Ltd approximately $5.5m. Stage II: roof shells M.R. Hornibrook Pty Ltd approximately $12.5m. Stage III: completion The Hornibrook Group $56.5m. Separate contracts: stage equipment, stage lighting and organ $9.0m. Fees and other costs $16.5m.

The original cost estimate in 1957 was £3,500,000 or $7 million. The original completion date set by the government was 26 January 1963 Australia Day. Thus, the project was completed ten years late and over-budget by more than fourteen times. The Opera House was formally opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 20 October 1973, with a large crowd of audience.

No comments: