Sydney Opera House

25 Sydney Opera House Facts and History about its Architecture

Well, to start with.. Sydney Opera House is in Sydney (which is so obvious unless you don’t know that a place named Sydney exists). Bennelong Point, Sydney New South Wales 2000, Australia to be more accurate.

Anyways we were talking about THE Sydney Opera House facts and history, so, it’s an amazing building, an architectural wonder, blah blah blah.. and was designed by John Utzon who was an architect from Denmark.

Sydney Opera House

You can visualize the scale of this building from this picture

Let’s get a quick dip in the history and architecture of Sydney opera house.

Sydney Opera House Facts and Figures –

1. History of Sydney opera house is saturated with great performances, but this one blew everyone’s mind – In 1960, Paul Robeson climbed the scaffolding to sing Old Man River to the construction workers, becoming the first artist to perform at the opera house. One hell of a crazy act.

2. The colored glass used in the building was made to order by Boussois-Souchon-Neuvesel in France – the shade is unique. There was 6,223 sq m of glass in the original building.

3. Jørn Utzon was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2003. Four generations of his family have been architects – his father Aage, his son Jan and Jan’s son Jeppe and daughter Kickan.

Facts About Sydney Opera House

It’s roof is clad in 1,056,006 roof tiles which cover approximately 1.62ha.

4. Danish architect Jørn Utzon beat 232 other designers to win the competition to design the opera house. The competition was launched in 1955 and the winner was announced in 1957. His cash prize was £5,000.

5. Utzon moved his practice to Sydney in 1963 but left the project in 1966 after a change in government. Significant changes were made to the interior designs after his departure and he was not invited to the opening.

In 1999 he was re-appointed as a design consultant. Only one room in the building has a 100% Utzon-designed interior.

Sydney Opera House Interior

Sydney Opera House auditorium seating

6. It was one of the first projects to use computerized structural analysis and the design team went through at least 12 iterations for the concrete shells of the building. It is still unclear whether it was Utzon or engineer Ove Arup who came up with the final solution.

7. The highest point of the roof reached 67 meters above sea level – equivalent to the height of a 22-story building.

8. The concrete ceiling beams are made in three different shapes – T, Y and U – according to the levels of stress placed on them. This eliminates the need for supporting columns.

9. Eight Boeing 747s could sit wing to wing on the opera house site – the building footprint is 1.75ha but the site is 5.8ha.

10. More than 10,000 construction workers were involved in building the opera house.

11. The roof is clad in 1,056,006 roof tiles which cover approximately 1.62ha.

12. Many famous construction companies like the Arups Structural Engineering, Hornibrook and Rider Hunt were involved in the construction of the Sydney Opera House.

13. It was formally opened on October 20, 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II – it took 14 years from competition to completion.

Sydney Opera House Interior Architecture

Australia’s Sydney Opera House interior

14. One of the most astonishing Sydney Opera House Facts is that it was originally estimated to cost $7 million but ended up costing $102 million.

This makes me feel good, people who were worse than me at cost estimation existed.

15. Sydney Opera House is one of the only buildings in the world to have had an opera written about it – Alan John and Dennis Watkins’ The Eighth Wonder.

16. The famous ‘sails’ of the building were constructed using three specially made tower cranes from France that cost $100,000 each.

17. When the work started on Sydney Opera House in 1959 more than 10,000 workers were hired for construction.

18. The building site’s total area is 5.798 hectares and its footprint is 1.75 hectares, which means eight Boeing 747’s could sit wing to wing on this site.

19. The Studio is a licensed venue and patrons can take alcohol into the theater. Calls for a visit!

20. There are 1,056,006 roof tiles covering an area of approximately 1.62 hectares that sit over the structure. They were made by a Swedish tile company,

21. The concrete ceiling beams change shape as they rise from a T shape to a Y and then a U shape, depending on where the level of stress is greatest. These folded beams replace the need for columns to support the weight of the structure.

Sydney Opera House construction

Sydney Opera House during construction

22.Every year ,all the light bulbs in the house are changed without any failure.

23. The site was demolished several times due to design failures.

24. The construction took more than 15 complete years

25.Biggest irony and fact of sydney opera house of all time,the queen for which it was build has visited the place not more than 4 times.

26. This great, great, great post on Sydney opera house facts was written by Ammar Ali DM, and this is one special fact which you won’t find on any other website.

These were some of the facts about one of the most recognized architectural sites of the world, I hope you liked it Please share our post