Every architecture lover dreams about visiting some buildings around the world. Those buildings they consider reference, being by its beauty, audacity or because they identify themselves with those works in some way. Well, on the last 18th of June, I had one dream come true when I visited this, which for me, since I saw for the first time on TV, is one of my favorite buildings all around the world. I went to a city many think to be the Capital city of Australia, but in fact, Sydney, even though it is the largest city in Australia, is not its Capital City. Rumor has it “fighting” between Sydney and Melbourne, to establish the Capital City, was so big, it was decided to establish it half way from each other, avoiding later arguments, in the city of Canberra, NSW. Ok, but talking about my dream, the building I visited, is Sydney’s Opera House, magnificently built at Sydney’s Harbor, surrounded by beautiful views and other amazing architectural works like Sydney’s Harbor Bridge. What many people don’t know is that, even though the building has a very modern and audacious design, known as Expressionism, it was designed in the 50’s, almost 60 years ago. The design was selected through an international competition that gathered over 200 designs. When visiting, I had the opportunity to see some of those designs, and I have to say: I’m glad they chose this one! The architect who had the wining project is Jørn Utzon (Swedish) and the project was budgeted in 3.5 million pounds with a time frame of somewhat longer than 5 years to be completed. What happened though, was a huge drama with heaps of difficulties on its way of execution, specially when talking about the shape of its very unlikely roofs – so innovative for the time being – the incredible enlargement of budget, from 7 to 102 million dollars, and, the time frame from 5 to 14 years, also including the leaving of Jørn Utzon from the project execution. With Jørn Utzon leaving the leadership of the project, it suffered some alterations, most noticeable in the interior of the building, changing a little bit from what the swedish envisioned. After that, never has him stepped in Australia, no more. Currently though, the Opera House is going through renovations and the son of Jørn Utzon works along with the building administration to bring the project closer to what his father designed that time. A tunnel is also being built beneath the Opera House, which will make it easier for the delivery services, trucks will no longer be on the way of the tourists and other visitors of this that is one of the busiest Opera Houses in the world.
Now, talking about numbers, 1.056.006 is the number of ceramic tiles covering the roofs of the Opera House, all peculiarly made for this specific purpose. The largest Concert Room is set to accommodate 2.679 persons siting, the largest instrumental organ, with over 10.000 tubes and positioned just above the main stage, is there. This instrumental organ has over 9 meters of depth, only in tubes, and took over 10 years to be refined after its installation. Australians are proud this project is theirs. There is no doubts that after learning a bit more about the history of the Opera House, this building became even more interesting to me. Its structure is amazing inside and out! You can see more about the Opera House, through my eyes, accessing my facebook page or instagram. Modern and beautifully set, even after 60 years of existence – and hopefully for much longer – the Opera House of Sydney continues to be one of the main references from Australia around the world, not as much popular only when talking about kangaroos. See you next month. Cheers mate!