Sydney Opera House

  • Over 2,500 performances and events each year.
  • Seven performance spaces; 20 lifts; more than 1,500 additional rooms.
  • Declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.
  • Project of the Year Award 2007, Association of Consulting Engineers of Australia (joint award with CRC for Construction Innovation).

Sydney Opera House is an astonishing architectural – and engineering – feat. From its prominent position on Bennelong Point, architect Jørn Utzon’s magnificent vision gracefully adorns Sydney Harbour. With its shimmering sails, this exhilarating building has come to define its city and even the nation of Australia. Beyond its iconic status, the Opera House is a busy performing arts centre, home of Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and the Sydney Symphony.

Design of the Opera House began in the 1950s. Ove Arup was engaged early in the design, and began to turn a daring concept into a physical reality. Arup’s engineers confronted an engineering challenge that has since become one of the profession’s epic tales - the design and construction of the building’s enormous, pre-cast concrete shells. The complex design work for the shells was achieved through the pioneering use of computers to model the roof and analyse its structure.

The Opera House opened in 1973 and since then, Arup has continued to partner its custodians in the care and maintenance of this extraordinary building, most recently with design work for a programme of refurbishment and upgrades. In 2007, Arup helped lay the groundwork for a facilities management system for the Opera House that could assist with management of the 35-year-old building’s systems and operations and provide a framework for future refurbishments.

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Design book 2013 front cover
  • The Sydney Opera House has come to define the city and the nation of Australia.

    The Sydney Opera House has come to define the city and the nation of Australia.

  • The Sydney Opera House - interior.

    The building is a busy performing arts centre, home of Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and the Sydney Symphony.