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BUILDING
 
 
Sydney Opera House
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DESIGNER
 
 
Jørn Utzon

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VIDEO
 
 
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MATERIALS
 
concrete

Reinforced concrete structure, "shells" of roof in prefabricated concrete covered with sweden tileds rather like Höganäs.

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LOCATION
 
Continent
Oceania
Nation
Australia
State
New South Wales
Town
Sydney
Address
Bennelong Point (Fort Macquarie)
 
 
Telephone
+61.2.9250.7777
Fax
+61.2.9251.3843
Website
E-mail
infodesk@sydneyoperahouse.com
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for recreational activities
Auditoriums and music centres
Theatres
Cinemas
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
1953 - 1955     project winner of competition
Realisation
1957 - 1973
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AWARDS
 
2007
UNESCO World Heritage Site
2006
Kulturkanonen [Danish Culture Canon]
Arkitektur [Architecture]
Kulturministeriet

The committee's justification

The Sydney Opera House is Australia’s national opera building, located in a prominent spot in Sydney Harbour. The building appears as a floating, moving formation of giant white sails, the different sizes of which rise over a terraced bastion, towering towards the sea, the sky and the horizon.

Each sail is a different slice of the same large ball. They are colossal, ribbon-shaped concrete structures, clad with white, glazed tiles, arranged symmetrically in pairs on the terraced base above the opera house’s various rooms and functions, which are sunken into the base. Together, the sails form 3 mutually offset shapes, so that, when seen from a distance and up close, the construction appears to be in motion, lightly floating above the base which is anchored in the water.

The building is Jørn Utzon’s main work, and with its simple and vibrant form, its clear geometry and its thoughtful details, it is Danish architecture’s most important contribution to international architecture. As an edifice, the Sydney Opera House basically speaks of humanity’s relationship with nature's elements – the earth, the sky and the ocean. The narrative is poetic because it creates a unique shape and space, but one which everyone understands – simultaneously emotionally fascinating and surprisingly undeniable. Which is why the Australians and the rest of the world’s population can identify so strongly with the building. The Sydney Opera House has, therefore, become the building which symbolises an entire nation’s understanding of its origins and future.
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THE BUILDING IN CINEMA
 
Title
  Jørn Utzon: The Man & the Architect
Directed by
Lene Borch Hansen, Anna von Lowzow
Nationality
Denmark
Year of production
2018
Cast
Building's role
Considerable
Title
  The Dream of Perfection
Directed by
John Weiley
Nationality
Australia
Year of production
2013
Cast
Building's role
Protagonist
Title
  The Edge of the Possible
Directed by
Daryl Dellora
Nationality
Australia
Year of production
1998
Cast
Jørn Utzon, Philip Drew, Elias Duek-Cohen, Jon Lundberg, Yuzo Mikami, John Nutt, Mogens Prip-Buus, Harry Seidler, Bill Wheatland, Robyn Nevin
Building's role
Protagonist
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Thomas de Monchaux, "The First Forty", Architect 10/13, october 2013, "Front" pp. 27-28
Anne Watson (ed.), Building a masterpiece. The Sydney Opera House, Lund Humphries, 2006
Paolo Tombesi, "Sydney Opera House: plus ça change...", Il giornale dell'architettura 33, ottobre 2005, "Restauro" p. 16
"World Heritage List", Il giornale dell'architettura 33, ottobre 2005, "Restauro" p. 16
Francesca Prina, Elena Demartini, Grande Atlante dell'Architettura dal Mille al Duemila, Mondadori Electa, Milano 2005, pp. 344-345
Peter Murray, The Saga of the Sydney Opera House, Spon Press, United Kingdom 2004
"Jørn Utzon dopo l'Australia/Jørn Utzon after Australia", Domus 833, gennaio/january 2001, "Post Script. Ripensamenti/Reputations" pp. 122-123
Jürgen Tietz, Storia dell'architettura del XX secolo, Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Milano 2000, p. 75
Philip Drew, Utzon and the Sydney Opera House, Inspire Press, Annandale (New South Wales) 2000
Kenneth Frampton, Tettonica e architettura. Poetica della forma architettonica nel XIX e XX secolo, Skira, Milano 1999, pp. 305-314 (276-331)
Francesco Dal Co, "Jørn Utzon [ai signori Pritzker e alla Giuria del Pritzker Prize]", Casabella 654, marzo/march 1998 [To be rather then to seem], "Editoriali" p. 3
Françoise Fromonot, Jørn Utzon, architetto della Sydney Opera House, Electa, Milano 1998
Philip Drew, Sydney Opera House. Jørn Utzon, Phaidon Press, London 1995
Alessandro Rocca, "Peter Rice, poeta del Brutalismo/Peter Rice, Poet of Brutalism", Lotus international 78, ottobre/october 1993 [Omaggio a Peter Rice/Homage to Peter Rice], pp. 6-39
"Sydney Opera House. 1957 Sydney. Jørn Utzon. Ove Arup & Partners", Lotus international 78, ottobre/october 1993 [Omaggio a Peter Rice/Homage to Peter Rice], pp. 14-15 (6-39)
"Opera House di Sidney completato un cantiere faticoso", Casabella 383, novembre/november 1973, "Informazioni/Informaton" p. 54
Bruno Zevi, Spazî dell'architettura moderna, Einaudi, Torino 1973, tav. 565 [XII. La terza età: itinerarî degli anni cinquanta-ottanta]
Valter Vannelli, "Un teatro nella città", Moebius. Unità della cultura. Architettura Urbanistica Arte 1970/1, pp. 64-75
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EXHIBITIONS
 
 
Horisont – et operahus og en verden til forskel / Horisont – An Opera House and World Apart, Utzon Center, Aalborg (Denmark), 9 april / 21 october 2018
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Number
12 "shells"
Capacity
Auditorium 3.500 and 1.200 seats
Height
m. 60
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Ove Arup & Partners
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STAFF
 
Project
Jørn Utzon
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ANNOTATIONS
 
 
The president of competion jury was Eero Saarinen.
 
 
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