The Sydney Opera House is one of the best known landmarks in Australia. It’s unique design and prominent location in Sydney Harbour make it a popular tourist attraction and one of the most famous performing arts centers in the world. It is estimated that 7 million tourists visit the site each year. The venue has a number of performance venues and hosts more than 1,500 performances each year. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. If you have ever wondered who built this unique building, keep reading to find out.
Who built the Sydney Opera House?
A design competition was held in 1955 and 233 entries were received. In 1957 the design by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, was announced as the winning design. The construction process for the Sydney Opera House was broken down into 3 stages. State I saw the construction of the upper podium. During Stage II the outer shells were constructed and during Stage III the interior was constructed and finished.
Stage I was built by the construction company Civil and Civic with engineers from Ove Arup and Partners monitoring the building. Stage II and III were again overseen by engineers from Ove Arup and Partners and the actual construction was completed by Hornibrook Group Pty Ltd. The construction cost $102 million AUD and it was completed by 1973. This was well above the cost estimate of $7 million with a completion date of 1963!
Did you know?
Jørn Utzon oversaw the project until 1966 when he resigned after a conflict with a new Minister for Public Works (this was due to a change of government). Utzon vowed never to return to Australia and he was not invited or acknowledged during the official opening in 1973. There was eventually reconciliation between Utzon and the Sydney Opera House Trust in the later days, and he was involved in redesigning some of the Opera House. However, Utzon never returned to Australia after he left in 1966.