The Sydney Opera House is regarded as one of the most-photographed buildings around the world. It’s known for having a unique and stunning series of white sail-shaped shells across the roof structure, making it truly an architectural triumph of modern times. As Australia’s best-known landmark, the Sydney Opera House is made of unparalleled design and construction abilities – giving way for awards based on technological innovation and exceptional engineering.
Being that the Sydney Opera House was an unparalleled piece of architecture, it was by no means a simple task to complete the construction. Initially stated to take four years to build, the construction of the Sydney Opera House began on March 2nd, 1959, and would continue for another 14 years afterwards – not being completed until October 20th, 1973.
Because of the sheer greatness in size and difficult design of this building, many are often curious if there were a number of deaths that occurred during the building phases – much like the building of the Sydney Harbor Bridge or the Empire State Building.
Considering the Sydney Opera House was built between the 1950s to 1970s, there weren’t modern-day safety precautions that are in place today. There was only 1 recorded death during the construction of the building. It was a crane driver, who was supposedly off-site at the time of his accident.
How Many Workers Helped To Build The Sydney Opera House?
Over the course of the 14-year period that it took to construct the Sydney Opera House, there were over 10,000 workers employed to assist in the build. That’s a lot of builders but it was not without risk as safety precautions weren’t as prevalent in that day and age.
With so many workers though it helped the economy to employ so many workers over the 14 year period. It also would have helped teach new trades to new workers with little to no experience in the field.
Is The Sydney Opera House The Biggest In The World?
The Sydney Opera House is the world’s largest opera house in existence. Prior to the completion of the Sydney Opera House, the largest opera house was the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. The Teatro Colon first opened its doors to the public in 1908.
Known for its rather eclectic style, the Teatro Colon was designed by a succession of architects, unlike the Sydney Opera House. This massive opera house is just shy of hosting space for 2,500 seated guests and standing room for an additional 1,000 people.
Is The Sydney Opera House A Wonder Of The World?
in 2000, a campaign was launched in order to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. The original Seven Wonder was a list compiled in the 2nd Century BCE, with only one still standing in the modern day – the great Pyramids of Giza. It was thought that an updated list was necessary and millions of people around the world agreed, casting their votes for a winner from a list of over 70 places. The results were not publicly announced until the year 2007.
The Sydney Opera House was selected as a contender to become one of the New Seven Wonders, but it was not chosen as a winner. However, it is still regarded as one of the greatest works of art and architecture in the world, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The list of the New Seven Wonders that were selected are; the Pyramids of Giza (honorary member), the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza, Petra, Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, the Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal.
How Big Is The Sydney Opera House?
The Sydney Opera House is a building that is as massive as it is beautiful. The building sits on an area of just over 1.8 hectares or 4.4 acres. The building is measured 185 meters long and 120 meters wide. The highest point of the roof of the Sydney Opera House is 67 meters above the adjacent sea level, which is the exact same as a 22-story high building.
Being the largest opera house in the world, the Sydney Opera House seats an impressive 5,738 guests at a time. The massive building plays host to nearly 1000 rooms – having five individual concert theatres, five large rehearsal studios, two main halls, six bars, four restaurants, numerous souvenir shops, and more!
What Do The Sails On The Sydney Opera House Represent?
The original architectural design of the Sydney Opera House was created and completed by the Danish architect, Jorn Utzon. He allegedly designed the building with its fantastic series of arched white roofs to be shaped like sails, as a reflection of his own love for sailing and sailboats.
However, many believe that the shell/sails are a clear nod to the harbour and beaches of Sydney, that run parallel to the building. Either way, the Sydney Opera House was constructed as a new and eye-catching design, that was sure to bring folks from around the world to marvel at its glory.
Why Does The Sydney Opera House Roof Look Like Sails?
As previously mentioned, the design of the Sydney Opera House was completed by Jorn Utzon. He actually completed his design after an international contest was announced in 1956, for the creation of a new opera house in Sydney. As a prize for winning the competition, he was awarded 5000 euros for his work.
Many believe that in order to win the competition, Utzon intelligently designed the building to reflect the common scenes on the Sydney Harbor – which obviously included stunning sailboats. Because of this, the roof was designed in a similar fashion, reflecting the appearance of sails – almost as if they were blowing in the wind.
What Is Unique About The Sydney Opera House Shells?
The most unique fact about the Sydney Opera House shells is that if combined, they would form a perfect sphere. Jorn Utzon and his team of architects spent an abundance of time attempting to conceptualize the opera house’s perfect and finalized geometric shape – even after the initial building process of the Sydney Opera House had commenced.
Supposedly, Utzon had first bent a ruler to form the ideas of the curved roof shape that he had wanted, however, this was considered impractical due to the necessary structural integrity required for the building to be sound.
This is when Utzon stumbled upon his “Spherical Solution”, which catapulted the final design into the greatness that is now known. Utzon is said to have hit this eureka moment when he was peeling an orange for breakfast. He realized at that moment that each shell could be acquired from a single form – which was the plane of a sphere.
This prompted him to refocus on the intended fourteen separate pieces of the roof, making them into a somewhat puzzle piece set with pieces that would form a perfect sphere if put together.
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