About the Sydney Opera House The Sydney Opera House is a modern expressionist design. Expressionist designs was an architectural movement that developed in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century in parallel with the expressionist visual and performing arts.
History of the Opera House In the late 1940s when Eugene Goosens, the director of NSW State Conservatorium of Music wanted a suitable place for large theatrical performances, planning for the Sydney Opera House began. In 1954 Eugene got support of the NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, who called for designs of a dedicated opera house.
Location It is located on the Bennelong Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is in the Sydney Harbour, Close to Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is also beside of Royal Botanic Gardens.
Construction History The design of the opera house was decided by a winner of a design competition that began on the 13 th of September, 1955 which received 233 entries from architects from 32 different countries. The criteria for the contest was a large hall seating 3000, and a small hall for 1200 people. In 1957, the winner was announced, Jørn Utzon a Danish architect. The prize was 5000.=$7515 He visited Sydney that year to help supervise the project, his office moved to Sydney in 1963.
Design and Construction A tram depot occupied the place of construction at the time, but was demolished in 1958 and construction of the opera house began in March of 1959. The project was built in three stages. Stage 1-(1959-1963) Building upper podium. Stage 2-(1963-1967) Construction of outer shells. Stage 3-(1967-1973) Interior design.
Stage 1 : The Podium Stage 1 commenced on December 5, 1958. The construction firm was Civil & Civil, monitored by the engineers Ove Arup and Partners. Although by January 23, 1961, work was running 47 weeks behind. This was mainly due to weather and construction being started before proper construction drawings had been prepared. The podium was finally finished August 31, 1962. Although it had to be rebuilt due to it not being able to support the roof structure.
Stage 2: Roof/Outer shell The concrete shells were perceived as a series of parabolas supported by precast concrete ribs. Engineers Ove Arup and Partners were unable to find an acceptable solution for constructing them. Using in-situ concrete would have been too expensive. Also using precast concrete would have been even more expensive. From 1957 to 1963, Engineers tried to find an economically acceptable form before a workable solution was completed.
Stage 2. Cont. The design work for these shells involved one of the first use of computers in structural analysis, to understand the forces the shells would have be up against. Finally, a solution was found, the shells being created as sections of a sphere. This allows arches of varying length to be cast in a common mold and a number of arch segments to be adjacent to each other, to form a spherical section.
Stage 3: Interior Stage 3 started with Utzon moving his office to Sydney in 1963.However there was a change of government in 1965 and the Robert Askin Government declared the project under jurisdiction of the ministry of Public Works. This led to Utzons resignation. Although so far the cost of the project was only $22.9million. Less than a quarter of the final cost, $102 million.
Completion and cost. The Opera house was completed in 1973 having a final cost of $102 million. Stage costs Stage 1- $5.5m Stage 2- $12.5m Stage 3- $56.5m Separate contrasts- Lighting and organ $9m Fees and other costs - $16.5m
Opening The opera house was formally opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on the 20 th of October in 1973 with a large crowd in attendance. The architect Jørn Utzon was not invited. Nor was his name mentioned. The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.
Summary Construction started: 1959 Construction ended: 1973 Opened: Oct. 20, 1973 Final cost: $102 Million