Sydney Opera House was formally opened on 20th October 1973.
Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most famous architectural marvel representing modern architecture. It is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, Australia.
It is a multi- venue performing arts centre which hosts more than 1500 performances annually. More than 8 million people visit this place every year. The Opera House operates 24/7 except for day of Christmas and Good Friday.
This structure was officially announced world heritage site on June 28, 2007.
The history of this structure starts with a design competition held in the year 1957. This completion was announced by NSW Premier Joseph Cahill on 13th September 1955. A Danish Architect was the winner of the competition – Jørn Utzon. His entry was one of the last entries received for the competition out of total 233 entries from Architects in 32 different countries!
The structure was built in three stages. Stage I (1959–1963) consisted of building the upper podium which started on 2nd March 1959, stage II (1963–1967) the construction of the outer shells, stage III (1967–1973) interior design and construction.
The government had to push the construction to start even before Utzon was ready with construction drawings. Some structural issues were unresolved at that time and as a result it was found that the podium columns were not strong enough to support the roof structure and had to be re-built.
Construction of shells was one of the biggest challenges for the engineers Ove Arup and Partners who played a big role in design development. Each rib of shell was unique in shape and so it was becoming very costly affair to build them on site using forms and cast in place method.
The design of shells involved one of the earliest uses of computers in structural analysis. In initial stage of construction, all the casting information were being entered in computer for a betterment in work for next casting. With the help of that information, it was decided to go for precast elements. The shells were constructed by Hornibrook Group Pty Ltd. About 2400 ribs and 4000 roof panels were casted at on site precast factory.
Sydney Opera House is supported by 588 piers. The modern and marvelous look is given by curved precast concrete panels which forms its roof.
The shells are cladded with over 1 million white and creamy tiles. The tiles were supplied by Höganäs AB– the Swedish company which is the world’s leading manufacturer of metal powders at present.
In addition to tiles, about 67,000 sq ft of glass made in France was used to decorate and build interiors. The three main local but classic materials used in construction were Tarana Pink Granite, Brush Box hardwood and White Birch Plywood.
The project was formally completed in 1973 after 10 years of original projection. The budgeted cost was $ 7 M in design stage and actual cost was about $ 102 M at the completion.
Utzon received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in year 2003 for his masterpiece.