Australia: The Sydney Opera House

To start off here, I have to say this was one of my #2 favorite thing we did in Australia. The absolute intricacy of this structure’s design wows me still. To hear the story of its origin, and hear all the labor and work poured into this building is still amazing.
Plus, it is a cool building. And you know I am always all for cool buildings. ;)
The Sydney Opera house, Taken on a boat in Sydney Harbor.

I suppose I should start at the beginning. The Sydney Opera House was created as a result of a worldwide competition. The Australian Government wanted an iconic Opera house build on a small outcropping of land.
After some time, this sketch was chosen, though almost missed, as it was turned in past the deadline.

Photo courtesy Public Files from the Australian Archives.

This was all the engineers got to make the building. No blueprints, no other angles… nothing. They had to call in the original designer to help them with the creation of the building. The story is a long, and sometimes sad one, which you can read many other places, so I won’t go into it here. ;)

Regardless of the Story though, it was built, and we took a tour of it. :)

Standing on one of the viewing platforms outside the Opera House, you could see awesome and incredible views of the city, the Harbor, and more.

The Upper Level Entrance’s doors were made of reflective glass, so as to keep the heat out of the room. :)

Now, this is really cool. Between each of these brown struts, there are panels of glass. Theses panels of glass and struts are built to allow expansion when they heat up, and then contraction when they cool down! The entire thing can move based on the rubber joints placed in certain areas of the struts.
Ingenious IMO.

This Purple room, is like a routing place to go to all the different theaters in the Opera house.

The Opera house itself is really more like a shell. The dome structures form something like a Giant… Pavilion. Once they were built, the actual enclosed theaters where built inside the domes.
To use a smaller example, like building a park pavilion, then a bunch of little club houses under the pavilion.
Anyway, these domes have millions of tiles on them. These tiles were installed onto preformed pieces of concrete, then the concrete portions lowered into place. The tiles are self cleaning too, so whenever it rains, the roof is totally cleaned.

Kinda bad picture I know, but here you can see the structure for one of the domes. Those are concrete pillars fanned out in a way that gives structure to the round shape of the roof.

And here is one of the opera theaters. All the theaters were build with cedar wood on the inside and out. Cedar wood reflects the human voice with the least amount of distortion, which is why they choose that type.

After the tour, we stopped and had lunch at their restaurant. We did some drawing while waiting for lunch…

And here is what I got, a Mushroom Pasta Linguini. It was excellent.

And that finishes our trip to the opera house. We learned tons of stuff that day, and if you are interested, do some googling on the building. It is a quite fascinating piece of Architecture.

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